Ferris State University’s Office of Housing and Residence Life was named a recipient of the Outstanding Commitment to Diversity Award from the Minority and Friends Network of the Oshkosh Placement Exchange.
The Minority and Friends Network was founded in 1992 at the OPE. The network’s original mission was to help candidates of color come together in a social setting to network with veteran professionals. The network’s purpose is to serve as a resource for minority candidates in pursuit of higher education administration careers. As part of that effort, the network awards a diversity award. Institutions submit a description of a diversity program to be considered in addition to an impact statement.
“The Office of Housing and Residence Life is very thankful to the Minority and Friends Network for honoring us with this award,” said Lisa Ortiz, assistant director of Residential Programs and Services at Ferris. “We appreciate the recognition of our dedicated work to diversity at Ferris State University and look forward to continuing to provide quality diversity programming for our students.”
In its Diversity Report, Housing and Residence Life emphasized a commitment to diversifying its staff. Additionally, the office cites success in diversity training initiatives for staff members. Those training initiatives have included sessions related to personal biases, social justice and safe-place training. Also, the report cites the successful implementation of the Harmony Project, a committee comprised of students and professional staff from the office. Project members present ongoing diversity training opportunities that encourage open and honest dialog.
Housing and Residence Life has been involved in a number of campus diversity initiatives in recent years, including the Tunnel of Oppression, Get with Diversity, Writings on the Wall, the International Festival of Cultures and more.
“When it comes to diversity programming, Residential Life staff and students are outstanding. They sponsor some of the most creative and dynamic diversity events and activities at the university,” said David Pilgrim, Ferris’ vice president for Diversity and Inclusion. “I am proud of Residential Life and happy that an outside group recognized them with this honor.”
Housing and Residence Life has been involved with a number of on-campus diversity committees, including the Diversity Action Team, Diverse Sexuality and Gender Alliance, the Diversity and Inclusion Council and the Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration Planning Committee.
Ferris serves as a sponsor of the Minority and Friends Network.