January Diversity Update

written by | Abeer Syedah

In 2018, we are starting a monthly diversity blog focused on detailing campus and system updates, events, and national topics of interest that center around equity and inclusion for those interested in staying in the know.


Campus & System

2018 Power in Diversity Conference at SCSU

From January 25th-27th, the 9th annual Power in Diversity Conference is taking place at St. Cloud State University. The theme this year is “Raising Voices, Lifting Leaders.” Students United leaders will be attending the conference.

More details: https://www.stcloudstate.edu/powerindiversity/

Bemidji State Opens First Diversity Center

Many student leaders have been heavily involved in calling for Bemidji State to open its first Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Center. Students have announced that a center will finally open this year with a ribbon cutting on Thursday, January 11th.

Jonathan Locust Jr. Named Chief Diversity Officer at Winona State

Jonathan Locust Jr. joins Winona State University from Ashland University in Ohio where he served as the Director of Institutional Diversity. He will serve as Associate Vice President for Inclusion & Diversity and Chief Diversity Officer.

Release: https://news.winona.edu/10721/locust-named-associate-vice-president-for-inclusion-diversity/

SMSU Event Sponsored By Students United Featured on AJ+

News platform AJ+ featured the story of Dr. Ayaz Virji who left a lucrative role on the East Coast to practice medicine in rural Minnesota. Dr. Virji spoke at Southwest Minnesota State University at an event sponsored by Students United. Footage from that event is featured in this video with over half a million views.

Watch: https://www.facebook.com/ajplusenglish/videos/1527853203930114/

Ola Abimbola, our Campus Organizing Intern, speaking at the event. Photo taken by SMSU Today

Ola Abimbola, our Campus Organizing Intern, speaking at the event. Photo taken by SMSU Today

Posters Continue To Elevate Tensions on Campuses

Following trends from colleges and universities across the country, posters on campus continue to be a point of tension and anxiety among student communities. Multiple campuses, including St. Cloud State, have reported the presence of posters affiliated with white supremacist organizations like Identity Evropa.

Additionally, the role of poster vandalism continues to elevate anxieties about safety and diversity. Multiple identity-affiliated student groups and events have reported vandalism of their posters.

More on Identity Evropa’s presence in St. Cloud: http://www.sctimes.com/story/news/local/2018/01/01/white-nationalist-banner-escalation-move-st-cloud/994519001/

State & National

Bemidji Pioneer: Students Compete in Ojibwe language quiz bowl

Leech Lake Tribal College held its Epiitendaagwak Ojibwemowin Quiz Bowl, which drew several other teams from schools across northern Minnesota including a team from Bemidji State.


Star Tribune: On the 155th anniversary, remembering the 38 Dakota men executed in Mankato

Read this chilling account of the execution of 38 Dakota men convicted of "murder and other outrages" against European settlers during the U.S.-Dakota War of 1862.  


New York Times: As Flow of Foreign Students Wanes, Universities Feel the Sting

Colleges have cut programs amid a drop in international enrollment tied to several factors, including more restrictive immigration policies.

Read: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/02/us/international-enrollment-drop.html?smid=tw-nytimes&smtyp=cur

If you there is information you'd like included in next month's Diversity Letter, please contact Abeer Syedah at asyedah@studentsunited.org