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Update on Equity Initiatives and Campus Climate

I am so excited to be able to reach out to you to give you an update about how things are going part-way through this international experiment around how to live our lives through a pandemic of historic proportions. My name is Francisco Salinas and I serve as the Assistant to the Vice President for Equity Initiatives.

We are so thankful to be hosting your students in all the ways we’ve been able to. It doesn’t look like any semester we’ve designed before, but our primary goal of prioritizing student and community safety while persevering to deliver a top-notch education and extra-curricular activities within a set of safety minded constraints has kept us flexible. We are learning as we go and we are listening loudly to students. We have changed the name of Multicultural Student Services to the office of Student Equity but we still offer the same great educational and community building activities. We have also raised the profile of our effort to serve first-generation students through the First-Forward Student Success Program by creating a peer mentoring program and an increased number of events to help these students connect. Our efforts through these offices have moved to an online format but students are showing up and we are serving them and connecting them to their campus community.

As we continue to evolve our approach to serve all of our students in a more inclusive and equitable way, we know that national and regional conversations around these issues continue. Our approach is rooted in a steadfast commitment to the principle that every student deserves to feel at home at Boise State University and we honor their right to learn how to express their unique voices to find their place in the society that awaits them. Contentious issues will come up now and again, but this principle will continue to guide our approach. When societal examples model an abandonment of those with whom you disagree, we want to use opportunities on campus to deepen understanding and community across difference. We will continue the struggle to invite students to sit at the table with those whom with they disagree to create a common path of mutual benefit because we know that this struggle is at the heart of the society that we all wish to be a part of.

Francisco Salinas
Assistant to the Vice President for Equity Initiatives