» By ERICKA CONLEY – econley@my.apsu.edu & BRIAN BIGELOW – bbigelow@my.apsu.edu

APSU is dedicated to educating its students not only in academics, but also in the diversity that shapes our society. APSU has created a “Diversity Task Force” to make sure that diversity is fully accepted and understood on campus.

Although many organizations on campus support diversity, such as the African American Cultural Center and the Hispanic Cultural Center, it is important to have a committee oversee campus diversity as a whole.

“The Task Force was created by the President to provide an administrative arm to assist the work of the Diversity Committee which created the 2010-15 Diversity Plan,” said Brian Johnson, assistant vice president of Academic Affairs and chair of the Diversity Task Force. “The Task Force will oversee the implementation of APSU’s Diversity Plan.”

As defined by the Diversity Committee, “Diversity at APSU refers to our inclusive community comprised of many individuals, each having unique attributes based on a variety of social, physical and cultural characteristics such as race, class, ethnicity, gender, age, sexual orientation, ability/disability, religion, political affiliation and/or national origin.”

Jiyeong Kim, an exchange student from Korea, said “I think APSU is showing diversity in many ways because I am here as an exchange student from Asia and saw various cultural events.”

The University Diversity Action Plan 2011-15 includes goals to “attract, accept, retain and graduate a diverse student population” and “attract, retain, advance, and promote” a diverse faculty and staff.

The task force, in cooperation with Student Affairs, plans to hold “campus-wide focus groups” and use the information gathered to publish an annual “diversity report card.”

The task force will also pair with Public Relations to produce “multilingual recruitment literature” and “multilingual options” on the APSU website.

According to Daisy Torres, coordinator for the Hispanic Cultural Center and member of the Diversity Task Force, diversity on campus means “raising awareness of diversity, sexual orientation, military background and non-traditional students.”

The Hispanic Cultural Center also raises awareness by teaching people about the culture and languages of the more than 20 countries in Latin America.

The Hispanic Cultural Center also contains artifacts and souvenirs from all of the latin countries students have visited in their travels. These artifacts and souvenirs can be seen on display in the center.

Another center on campus that educates students about diversity is the Wilbur N. Daniel African American Cultural Center. The center was named after the first African-American student to graduate from APSU.

Since its inception, the African-American Cultural Center has educated the community not just about African and African-American history, but also about diversity.

People of all races, backgrounds and nationalities are welcome to come and utilize its resources.

Students may come and use the computers, or check out calculators and NetBooks.

The African American Cultural Center also hosts many events throughout each semester where students can enjoy food, fun and education about diversity. TAS