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Recognizing Our Commitment to Diversity

Groups of diverse students mingle in a hallway at Farmingdale State College.

When we say the mission of The State University of New York is “to provide to the people of New York educational services of the highest quality, with the broadest possible access, fully representative of all segments of the population,” it shows everyone the commitment to diversity at our institutions. Diversity at SUNY is inclusive of all members of the community, not limited to age, race, gender, gender expression, or disability. And SUNY schools and administration are always on the move to guarantee that every member of our SUNY family is welcome on their respective campus. With newly updated data on our diversity statistics, we wanted to give a general idea of how efforts to expand diversity and inclusion are taking effect.

According to the latest data research updated December 2017, student enrollment numbers show that around 43% of total on-campus demographics at SUNY are minority students. This continues a five-year trend of increasing diversity in enrollment numbers at our 64 colleges and universities.

Insight into Diversity Higher Education Excellence in Diversity Award 2018 logoThanks to that hard work, the SUNY system was once again presented, for the seventh consecutive year, the Higher Education Excellence (HEED) in Diversity Award from INSIGHT into Diversity magazine, which is one of the oldest publications focused on higher education. Along with the system, the University at Albany, Buffalo State College, SUNY Old Westbury, and Stony Brook University were among the U.S. colleges and universities that demonstrate an outstanding commitment to diversity and inclusion.

“Our foundational values and policy of diversity, equity, and inclusion is at the core of our mission to provide a welcoming and encouraging environment that most reflects the society we live in and the changing demographics of New York State. I am proud of the work our team has done to set the standard within higher education” said Chancellor Johnson

SUNY has long supported many diversity programs, and we continue to generate new efforts to increase the diversity on each of our campuses, from classroom to office. In fact, during the summer of 2018, Chancellor Kristina Johnson and Board Chairman H. Carl McCall issued a formal statement committing to the maintenance of the diversity and inclusion plan at SUNY.

There are other recent recent examples to go along with these that show our growing commitment to diversity and inclusion.

Education and Training

A first of its kind conference in New York was put together this summer by SUNY. This week-long event – the SUNY SPECTRUM Conference –  was a comprehensive, research-based training for Sexual & Interpersonal Violence Prevention Education, Capacity Building, and Training in Response for Underserved Sexual and Gender Minorities. Hundreds of attendees took part in intensive training on prevention and response, creating space to learn best practices, and discussions on practical applications of prevention programming and trauma-informed response for LGBTQ+ students and community members.

The conference’s founder/lead planner, Joseph Storch, recently received the “Nancy Burton straight But Not Narrow” award from the Pride Center of The Capital Region for his outstanding leadership and support of the LGBTQ community.

SUNY Diversity Task Force

The SUNY diversity task force was created to ensure that SUNY is doing all it can to promote and increase diversity in all areas of the system. Members now care continuing to make sure that SUNY initiatives are doing what is necessary to address and improve inclusion on campus for all, from students to faculty and staff.

The SUNY Diversity Task Force regularly reviews relevant data and best practices to develop and modify strategies that help develop and enhance a welcoming campus environment for all. Last year’s annual Data Brief: Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion provides insight into this work and shows some of the results already achieved.

These efforts at diversity and inclusion at are continuing to find new ways to grow. And they all come together to show that there truly is a place for everyone at SUNY.

Written by Tiffanie Li

Tiffanie is a Social Media Assistant Intern at SUNY System Administration. She is a senior at SUNY Albany double-majoring in Psychology and Communications.

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