The Office of Community Engagement & Diversity Initiatives at NSC seeks to promote a campus culture that values diversity in all its forms, through inclusive dialogues, experiences and appreciation and value of others to leverage people as a source of collective learning, campus unity, and institutional strength.
It is for this reason that NSC has hosted and participated in numerous events aimed at inclusion, acceptance and increased dialogue regarding underrepresented and vulnerable populations. One such event took place on Thursday, August 14, 2014 at the Nevada System of Higher Education office in Las Vegas. This event, a workshop entitled Working with Undocumented Students, addressed the status of undocumented and DACA-mented (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) immigrant students by engaging and apprising staff of best student success practices and other resources.
This was a great event, and really beneficial for the community we serve, said Recruiter Ruby Ortega. I learned a lot of useful information that I can take back with me to NSC.
The workshop took place from 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. and featured several guest speakers, including Renee Davis, Director of Student Affairs for the Nevada System of Higher Education (NSHE). Renee flew in from Reno to give a presentation on financial aid and NSHE policy on residency for tuition purposes.
This event was coordinated by the NSHE All-Access Committee and was open to all staff members at NSHE institutions. In attendance were faculty and staff members from UNLV and CSN, along with more than ten NSC faculty and staff members, representing several different departments on campus.
The All-Access Committee is comprised of faculty and staff members from UNLV, CSN and NSC. The committee works to share up-to-date information on statutes and policies that affect access to higher education for undocumented and DACA-mented students.
NSC’s commitment to diversity extends beyond race, ethnicity, culture and legal status to include people of all backgrounds at the college. This includes the LGBTQ community, which stands for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer.
On June 20, 2014, the Office of Community Engagement & Diversity hosted an LGBTQ 101 seminar at NSC, in the School of Liberal Arts & Sciences. Students, faculty and staff gathered to participate in an interactive discussion about LGBTQ issues, led by Cameron Catton and Hektór Esparza from The Center, an LGBTQ support services organization in Las Vegas.
Even progressive institutions like NSC benefit from having up-to-date thinking and social justice theory discussed out loud, Esparza said. Though bigotry and intolerance are far less prevalent now, the work for equity and social justice is far from finished!
Dr. Edith Fernández, Associate Vice President for Community Engagement and Diversity Initiatives, wants the college to have more workshops, seminars and events geared toward promoting inclusion and opening the minds of the NSC community. We hope that everyone enjoyed the opportunity to engage in a conversation on ways to increase knowledge about and the well-being of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer people on campus and in our community, Dr. Fernández said. I would really love for people to take something away from this, she continued, to think differently than they did before they walked in.
The Office of Community Engagement & Diversity Initiatives seeks to promote a campus culture that values diversity in all its forms through inclusive dialogues, experiences and appreciation and value of others to leverage people as a source of collective learning, campus unity, and institutional strength.
Hosting this workshop demonstrated humility and goodwill of leaders, which are needed in institutions of higher education, Esparza expressed. Opportunities to learn, discuss and evaluate lead to policies, procedures and programs that make everyone feel welcome.
To learn more about LGBTQ issues, connect with NSC’s Prism-Straight Alliance at www.facebook.com/Nscprism.straight.alliance or visit www.thecenterlv.org.