Diversity is inclusive, not exclusive; therefore, it embraces and advances knowledge of difference, while also recognizing and celebrating our similarities. Diversity is the manifestation of difference within a community that includes, but is not limited to, race/ethnicity, color, national origin, religion, spiritual values, creed, sex, gender identity and expression, political affiliation, age, disability, veteran status, and sexual orientation, as well as economic and educational background, geographical location, and pedagogical systems. The university recognizes the significance of fostering and nurturing a living and learning environment conducive to and promoting awareness, respect, knowledge and understanding. In the continued positive evolution of the academy, diversity is recognized as an essential binding agent in the interdisciplinary approach to education, as well as in the greater life experience.
It is an essential public service to recruit, retain and graduate a diverse student body that is able to apply innovative solutions to the complex cultural, economic, social, environmental and political challenges of a global society.
The Office of Multicultural Student Development, a part of the Division of Student Development, contributes to the academic mission of Appalachian State University by providing marginalized and underrepresented students with mentoring, advocacy, community and identity affirmation; as well as by offering multiple and varied learning opportunities for all Appalachian students to develop an appreciation for diversity and different perspectives, enhance self-awareness, increase multicultural knowledge and strengthen intercultural competency.
Multicultural Student Development operates three student-led outreach centers; the LGBT Center, Multicultural Center and Women's Center.
Multicultural Student Development aspires to offer leadership, advocacy and serve as a resource to all Appalachian State University constituents and residents of Northwest North Carolina in matters concerning diversity. Multicultural Student Development also aspires to contribute to a campus-wide conversation that advances the University’s commitment to an inclusive learning environment for everyone.
- Social Justice: To challenge the roots of oppression, inequity and injustice; empower all people to exercise self-determination and realize their full potential.
- Collaboration: To share resources and expertise with students, faculty, staff and community partners; provide leadership in promoting diversity and social justice in our community.
- Community: To foster a sense of belonging to, engagement with, and shared responsibility for the well-being of the community.
- Learning: To foster safe spaces for the exploration of new ideas and concepts and to encourage critical thinking.
- Intercultural Competence: To enhance self-awareness, knowledge of difference, and ability to interact across difference.
- Leadership: To mentor, challenge and empower students through out-of-class experiences that help develop self-efficacy and allow for the exploration of ideas, passions and interests.
- Support: To guide students, advocate, teach accountability, empower, cultivate culture of inclusion, and promote the interests or causes of students.
- Sustainability: To value social capital, preserve culture, embrace social, economic and environmental interdependence.
- Personal Well-being: To promote an active process of becoming aware of and making choices that help enhance one’s health.