UCA, even in its early days as Arkansas State Teachers College, has made efforts for the improvement of diversity and inclusion.
On campus, the Office of Diversity and Community hosts several events throughout the year in order to include minorities on campus. In addition to these informational sessions, UCA also is home to the Minority Mentorship Program or MMP.
The MMP is an RSO on campus aiming to help incoming freshmen navigate college and doing so as minorities. This also allows for leadership within the club, as those mentored become mentees.
UCA also has several RSOs and greek organizations that help keep diverse students involved. These include the NPHC council as well as Latinx Greek organizations. While these organizations exist for those belonging to diverse communities, the IFC, as well as the Panhellenic Council, strive to create positive environments for everyone attending UCA.
PRISM and the Feminist Union usually team up at least once a year to bring UNITY to campus. UNITY is an event at UCA where students and faculty alike as members of the LGBTQ identities or allies can come together and celebrate and discuss ways to better serve the LGBTQ community on campus.
According to the office of Diversity and Community, members of the community as well as the Office of University Training work together in order to conduct Safe Zone training. Which is essentially seminars that raise awareness and give tools for people to know how to better serve minority groups on campus.
President Houston Davis has also made several attempts to increase diversity and inclusion on campus. During the BLM protests after George Floyd- the man who died in police custody due to extensive use of force after trying to pay with a counterfeit $20 bill- Davis sent out an email addressing Black students on campus. “Floyd is yet another in a horribly long list of casualties and victims of racist atrocities….Those who would discriminate or hurt another person are on notice that our university community will not tolerate behavior that does not represent the values held dear by UCA,” Davis wrote in a campus wide email.
Davis continued to reiterate the importance of inclusivity during the summer following an incident with the Conway Police Department in which Lionel Morris, a Faulkner County resident died. After this incident, Davis provided concrete steps the university would take in order to fight systemic racism. This included reassuring students that UCA Police Force was committed to the standards that UCA upholds, Laney-Manion Hall was renamed to Manion and Black at UCA, a viral hashtag on Twitter was reviewed in order to understand what students of color were experiencing at UCA.
On Jan 19, Davis also sent out a campus-wide email explaining that UCA would participate in National Day of Racial Healing. This day will now be observed everyday at UCA on the day after Martin Luther King day.
Campus has continually kept efforts in mind to help with inclusion and diversity. This past week, Davis sent a campus- wide email yet again describing his own concerns about the rise of Asian-American hate since COVID-19.
“Though feedback points to an immediate campus community that is strong and supportive, we understand that a sense of apprehension may exist for our Asian community members and their families beyond the borders of our campus and immediate community,” Davis wrote.
On Thursday April 8 there will be a check-in event for Asian American community opened for all students, faculty and staff during x-period. Patty Poulter, the provost; Ronnie Williams, VP for student services; Angela Webster, the AVP for Institutional Diversity and Inclusion; Phillip Bailey, the AVP for International Education and engagement and Davis will be leading this check in in the Student Center Ballroom.