Does your Phi Theta Kappa chapter reflect your college campus? If it doesn’t, it should. Diversity in your chapter is key to growing and strengthening your membership.
Here are five strategies to help create a welcoming, inclusive environment for ALL eligible students, courtesy of the Five Star Advisor Plan.
1. Make sure your chapter leaders share your commitment to make the chapter a welcoming place for students of all backgrounds. Help members in leadership roles to increase their knowledge about the diverse student populations served by your college (this includes all types of diversity such as race/ethnicity, military/veteran status, single parents, online students, etc.). Knowing your audience means your chapter can help ensure the membership messaging and methods are meeting students where they are.
2. Mix it up. Make sure the chapter events are accessible to as many individuals as possible. When scheduling new member orientations or information sessions, it’s especially important to have more than one option, including a virtual meeting (Google Hangout and Zoom are just two examples of easy-to-use, free videoconference sites).
3. Reach out to all identity groups on campus. Examples may include African-Americans, Asian-Americans, Latinx, Native American, International Students, LGBTQIA, students with disabilities, veterans, etc. Join forces on projects or simply enjoy fellowship. By doing so, it’s much more likely that your organizations will share members.
4. Observe diverse traditions, celebrations, and holidays from other cultures. Make sure to know cultural/religious significant dates of your students so you can be aware of these when scheduling chapter activities. While it may be impossible to avoid all conflicting dates, it is important to acknowledge the chapter leaders’ awareness of these dates and a student’s unavailability if a chapter event is planned for that date.
5. Contribute to the cultural diversity of the chapter and college. The best way to promote diversity and inclusivity in your chapter is by embracing it and working to build an understanding. When chapter members take time to get to know each other on a personal level, regardless of their culture and background, it helps them find common ground and deepen their appreciation of differences.
Remember, diversity can take many forms. Don’t underestimate the cultural value you add to your chapter. Whatever your background, your unique perspective, culture, and experiences can enrich the collegiate experience of those around you.
Find more helpful articles like this in the Five Star Advisor Plan.