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Guide for supporting safe and inclusive campus climates

Delivering on our diversity and inclusion values: the purpose of this guide

"Campus climate has been described as a part of the institutional context that includes
community members' attitudes, perceptions, behaviors, and expectations around issues of race,
ethnicity, and other diversity characteristics (Hurtado et al. 2008). "Campus culture and climate
are significant factors that affect students of color achievement and activities during the
collegiate experience" (Doan 2011). An unhealthy campus climate can impact students in the
following ways:

  • Students of color see lower degree completion relative to the overall student
  • population, specifically White and Asian students.
  • Asian and Hispanic students are at higher risk for suicidal thoughts or suicide attempts.
  • Students of color experience harassment at higher rates than White students.
  • Students of color perceive campus climate to be more racist and less accepting than
  • their White peers.

Minnesota State is committed to ensuring welcoming and supportive campus environments. Inclusiveness is embraced through the Strategic Framework, in board policy, in our systemwide equity and inclusion goals, and it is an integral part of our core institutional values.

Colleges and universities throughout the system are implementing intentional strategies to ensure all students and employees experience a safe, healthy, and welcoming campus climate. Our systemwide commitment to an inclusive campus climate is evident in many of the college and university Institutional Diversity and Equity Plans where colleges and universities outlined specific goals and strategies to achieve these goals.

One way we deliver on this goal is by equipping campus leaders and employees with tools to effectively address issues of concern, bias, and discrimination. Minnesota State and each of its colleges and universities have internal resources to promote a safe and welcoming environment for students and employees. This guide includes reminders for employees about resources available from the college, university, and system office, as well as some external resources. Familiarity with the content of the resources will help campus personnel support students and colleagues, particularly given some of the current political and social realities.

Doan, Jimmy (2011) "The Impact of Campus Climate and Student Involvement on Students of Color," The Vermont Connection,
Vol. 32, Article 4. Available at:
Hurtado, S., Arellano, L., Griffin, K., and Cuellar, M. (2008). Assessing the Value of Climate Assessments: Progress and Future
Directions. Journal of Diversity in Higher Education, 1, 4th ser., 204-211.