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Diversity and Inclusion

At Christopher Newport, students lead diversity and inclusion efforts through their involvement in the Student Diversity & Equality Council and our cultural and identity-based organizations. Annual events like the Intercultural Festival, the Conference on Leading Change, the MLK Celebration, and Umoja work to strengthen, challenge, and celebrate the diversity of our campus community.

Student diversity and inclusion efforts focus on three key areas:

  • Educating students about the variations of human difference, including domestic and global diversity
  • Supporting the unique needs and challenges of underserved groups (e.g., students of color, LGBTQ+, first generation)
  • Developing student leaders who engage in inclusive behavior and advocate for positive change in their communities

You’ll be challenged and exposed to social issues and identities different than your own in order to heighten self-awareness, get outside of your comfort zone and increase confidence.

We are also committed to creating inclusive and supportive spaces on campus through programs like Safe Zone, Conversations on Racial Equality and diversity training programs with student leaders, staff and faculty.

We encourage all students to engage in our program offerings.

Cultural Plunge is a self-directed activity that seeks to expand your cultural awareness and understanding as well as heighten self-awareness through exposure to social issues and identities different than your own. Students are eligible for incentives and recognition by participating in campus programs and events.

Students achieve global competency recognition by attending the Global Competency Workshop and completing the Cultural Plunge. The certification aims to help students gain the knowledge, skills and awareness that enable you to interact successfully and responsibly with people of different values, experiences, viewpoints and cultures.

The Safe Zone initiative aims to inform students, faculty and staff about the LGBTQ+ community and issues that challenge social constructs about sexual orientation, sexual behavior, gender identity and gender expression.

We provide assistance and build confidence for students, faculty and staff on how to best support and appropriately interact with the LGBTQ+ student population. In addition, we assist others in developing and implementing best practices, resources and strategies for inclusion.

CNU Spectrum is another source of support for LGBTQ+ students. This student organization promotes the awareness, acceptance and diversity of such people by providing a safe, accessible and supportive atmosphere conducive for mutually supportive relationships between LGBTQ+ people and their straight allies.

Conversations on Racial Equity (CORE) educate the campus community about racial diversity, equity and inclusion by certifying supportive allies to promote understanding and advocacy.

The program provides assistance and builds confidence for students, faculty and staff on how to best support and appropriately interact with racially diverse student populations. We also assist others in developing and implementing best practices, resources and strategies for racial equity and inclusion.

The Black Student Union, Latino Student Association and African Student Union are other sources of support for students of color. These organizations provide social and educational programming for all students to learn about racial and ethnic identities.

This conference enables students to be better informed, feel more energized and have a higher level of confidence to influence change in their personal, local and global communities.

The annual Intercultural Festival highlights various aspects of culture from around the globe through art, performance, food and more. We provide an atmosphere where students can experience, learn and enjoy the many cultures in our world.

Umoja is a celebratory tradition that recognizes the hard work and success of students who are committed to diversity and inclusion efforts. Umoja is the Swahili word for unity. The ceremony pays tribute to unity as a guiding principle to the success of diversity efforts and initiatives. Umoja celebrates student contributions, involvement and service that make Christopher Newport a more inclusive and pluralistic community.

The need to use a bathroom is not gender-specific – we all need to do it. As an important step toward inclusion, we have identified all-gender restrooms on campus for people who are uncomfortable in women’s or men’s restrooms.

Please trust that each individual knows which restroom is most comfortable and appropriate for them. We encourage everyone to thoughtfully examine and challenge their assumptions around gender identity and expression.

The SDEC cultivates an inclusive and pluralistic campus​ ​environment​ through community building, leadership development, ​ educational programming, advocacy and recognition in the following ways:

To share the responsibility of promoting and sustaining diversity efforts through mutual support, communication and planning among student organizations and the University

To develop purposeful leaders who serve as active facilitators and agents of social change

To promote awareness of the variations of human difference, equality and respect through informative programming

To serve as a sounding board and advocate for equitable practices and policies at the University

To formally recognize student organizations and institutional achievements that champion diversity and inclusion efforts

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