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Fresno State's student-run newspaper

The Collegian

Fresno State's student-run newspaper

The Collegian

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Thousands of 
people from the Central Valley and other places came to graduation in the Save Mart Center to watch Fresno State
students walk across the stage to complete their 
college career.  
college career. Photo by Rosemarie Borunda
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Guest column: Values of equity, diversity and inclusivity are at the heart of Fresno State

Guest+column%3A+Values+of+equity%2C+diversity+and+inclusivity+are+at+the+heart+of+Fresno+State

As the inaugural university diversity officer at Fresno State, I am deeply committed to championing the values of equity, diversity, inclusivity, and belonging that lie at the heart of our institution. 

Our new and existing efforts to engage and support a diverse student population have set Fresno State on a path to becoming a leader in promoting equity and engagement and creating a thriving educational environment. Although the recent Supreme Court ruling striking down affirmative action may not directly impact our institution, we must remain steadfast in our dedication to fostering diversity on campus, as it is paramount to the future of a strong community. In fact, our commitment to equity and inclusion is spelled out in our new strategic plan: goal five is to embody full Inclusivity and belongingness.

At Fresno State, equity and engagement are not just lofty ideals; we are strategically ensuring they are ingrained in our DNA. As a designated Hispanic Serving institution with the prestigious Seal of Excellencia distinction and as an Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander-serving institution, we understand that creating an inclusive environment goes beyond mere numbers and percentages. It requires intentional efforts to provide equitable access to educational resources for all students, regardless of their backgrounds or circumstances. Our Cross Culture and Gender Center has been historically focused on this work and they continue to be at the forefront of critical programming, outreach and student engagement and services necessary to promote an engaged and equitable environment on our campus.

Our university’s demographics reflect the rich tapestry of cultures, perspectives, and experiences that represent the modern world, with over 87% of our students coming from the Central Valley. Over 70% of our students come from minority backgrounds, and 66% of our undergraduates are the first in their families to go to college.  

We believe that embracing equity and engagement enhances the learning experience and prepares our graduates to become thoughtful global citizens, well-equipped to navigate an increasingly interconnected and diverse society. We are in the valley of opportunity and Fresno State is the heartbeat of our region’s success.

The benefits of campus diversity cannot be underestimated. Diverse graduates bring unique perspectives to the workforce, making them valuable contributors to our state’s economy and society at large. 

While the recent Supreme Court ruling is deeply disappointing for higher education across our country, we must not lose sight of our purpose and values. Fresno State’s steadfast commitment to equity, inclusion and belonging remains unwavering. Our focus lies in providing an inclusive, safe and welcoming space for our Bulldogs to learn, grow and create lasting connections with peers from diverse backgrounds.

Together, we can lead the way in cultivating a generation of graduates who will enrich our Valley’s social fabric, drive innovation and build a more equitable and vibrant society for all.

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