Rochester University is committed to diversity and ensuring equity by challenging bias, stereotypes, harassment, and discrimination. As individuals and as a community, we will support each other, respect our differences, and build on our commonalities. We seek to graduate students whose vocations further God’s transformative work in this world.
The Diversity Committee was organized in February 2018 as an effort by the Administration to enhance diversity, inclusion, and equity at Rochester University. The Diversity Committee is a product of the Rochester University Diversity Blueprint that maps out a trajectory for an improved campus environment where all individuals feel they can have a voice and feel like they have a place to belong. The Diversity Committee exists to work toward actionable goals in improving the policies, processes, and initiatives on campus in relation to diversity, inclusion, and equity.
Committee Members: Essie Bryan, Director of Early College Programs | Jaymes Vettraino, Assistant Professor of Business and Director of the Center for Social Engagement | Dr. Joel Hachem, Professor, School of Business | Mary Sauger, Assistant Director of Admissions | Meghan Kehoe, Digital Strategist | Dr. Remylin Bruder, Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs | Scott Samuels, Vice President of Admissions and Student Life | Shiloh Covell, Assistant Registrar
Frequently Asked Questions
Diversity is a collection of differences, including but not limited to differences in socioeconomic status, family status, educational background and status, culture, and ethnicity.
Inclusion is when individuals of different backgrounds are heard, welcomed, and respected.
Equity is the fair treatment, access, opportunity, and advancement for all individuals, while simultaneously working to identify and eliminate barriers that could prevent the full participation of some groups.
Rochester University is diverse in a number of ways. Our students represent different races, ethnicities, genders, religious affiliations, sexual orientations, geographic locations, and unique life experiences. We continue to strive toward creating a place where all students and community members feel welcomed and included.
All students are welcome, whether or not you identify as a Christian! We are a Christian community that creates space for other religions and beliefs through programming and active dialogue in and out of the classroom. Part of our mission as a Christian institution is to work toward creating a more trustworthy world for everyone, and your unique experiences and beliefs are a part of that. We hope that together we grow as a community through better understanding and connection with one another and the beliefs we share.
Below is our theological framework:
We worship a trinitarian God (that is, a God who exists in community as Father, Son, and Spirit; a God who is, in God’s very being, diverse persons in relationship). Thus, a leading measure of the Christian faith is the capacity to live in community with others. Christian community is not experienced as “sameness,” where association is formed around being alike. Instead, God creates humanity – in all our particularity and diversity – in the image of God (Genesis 1:26-27; Psalm 139:13-17). Humanity’s diversity is necessary in order to reflect the image of and participate in the nature of (2 Peter 1:3-4) our trinitarian God. This means that all persons are worthy of respect and love, and that Christian community is characterized by unity and love among diverse persons.
In addition, the coming kingdom of God is one in which “rich variety” will be united in God, and humanity will be reconciled fully to God and to each other (Ephesians 3:9-10; Colossians 1:15-20; Revelation 5:9; 7:9). Therefore, Christians are urged on by the love of God to participate in the reconciling mission of God (2 Corinthians 5:14-21) and to be people who seek to bring God’s kingdom “on earth as it is in heaven” (Matthew 6:10). Though we embrace the beauty of particularity (1 Corinthians 12:4-26), we do not distinguish between persons based on that particularity (Joel 2:28-29; Galatians 3:28). Rather, we welcome one another as Christ has welcomed us (Romans 15:7; see also Exodus 22:21; Deuteronomy 10:19; Leviticus 19:34; Hebrews 13:2).
Therefore, we believe that diversity is a gift to be sought and encouraged, because a community in which diverse persons can live, love, and work together reflects the nature of our trinitarian God and anticipates the fullness of reconciliation in the kingdom of God. Though our efforts toward being welcoming are always partial and insufficient, as we come to know God more fully, we seek to reflect more fully the love of God that never ends (1 Corinthians 13:8-12) as part of our ongoing process of being saved (1 Corinthians 1:18; 15:2).
Diversity is important because it is critical to the story we envision at Rochester University. The mission of our institution is to prepare students for professional and personal success as they serve in God’s world. To us, this mission means preparing students to learn and think critically about themselves and our world so that they are able to leave us with an understanding of their unique calling and vocation in partnering with God, creating a more trustworthy world for all. That last part is critical – everyone has an important story and an important role to play in working toward a world that is better for each of us, collectively. We cannot do that without investing in the unique experiences and diverse cultures, views, and perspectives of our fellow citizens. At Rochester University, we share everyone’s stories and experiences in and out of the classroom, because we know it is critical for our community, for our world, and for our future.
All members of the Rochester University Community are expected to conduct themselves in a manner that does not infringe upon the rights of others. Such conduct is considered detrimental to the well-being of our community.
Faculty, staff, and third-parties should report a potential violation of the University’s policy prohibiting discrimination, harassment, and retaliation (not based on sex or gender) in a timely manner to the Director of Human Resources, Ginny May at email@example.com.
Students and prospective students should report a potential violation of the University’s policy prohibiting discrimination, harassment, and retaliation (not based on sex or gender) to the Dean of Students, Dr. Sharia Hays at firstname.lastname@example.org.
All members of the campus community and third-parties should report any forms of sex/gender harassment, discrimination, and misconduct to the Title IX Coordinator, Dr. Sharia Hays at email@example.com. Examples of such misconduct can include acts of sexual violence, sexual harassment, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking.
Faculty and staff needing work-related accommodations would contact the Director of Human Resources, Ginny May at firstname.lastname@example.org. Students seeking accommodations need to contact the Accommodations Officer at email@example.com.
Rochester University views diversity as a critical component of our curricular and co-curricular experiences. One way we assess that we are accomplishing diversity and inclusion initiatives is through our EPIC Institutional Learning Goals (Exploring • Calling • Cultural • Literacy). Additionally, we are investing in co-curricular and social programming that highlights diversity at many different levels, allowing students to engage in discussions about the uniquenesses that are important to our personal narratives. In Fall of 2018 we centralized our programming through the Diversity Committee. The Diversity Committee spent a year working with our Campus Culture Action Team to provide a comprehensive approach to our diversity and inclusion initiatives.
We want everyone to be involved in our diversity and inclusion programming and initiatives because we want everyone to have an opportunity for their voice to be heard. Contact the Diversity Committee Chair, Dr. Sharia Hays and Director of Intercultural & Spiritual Life, Evan Green to learn more about on-going initiatives and on-campus opportunities. Also, explore our Diversity webpage for more information and to connect with campus partners.
- Women of Tomorrow Partnership
- Detroit Promise
- Visits with students and high school counselors in diverse schools within Southeast Michigan
- Scholarship opportunities for racially and ethnically diverse students
- White: 70.87%
- Black: 18.74%
- Non-white: 8.66%
- Unknown: 1.73%
- White: 92.5%
- Black: 5%
- Non-White: 2.5%
While the number fluctuates from year to year and cohort to cohort, Rochester University has about 60% females and 40% males on campus.
"I chose RU because the atmosphere on campus reminded me of one big family, and that’s what made me feel like I was at home when I attended RU. When I stepped on campus, I was introduced to so many students, staff and faculty who really cared about me and my future. RU came into my life, and I took it as a sign to help me get back on track in my relationship with God, and really find myself again — both of which happened during my time at the University."
- ARMAND CARTWRIGHT
"As an international student, I had a unique experience at Rochester University. I was familiar with the surrounding area because I had previously lived in the area attending high school, but RU was new to me. Though it was tough missing my home country of Malawi and my family — living on campus at Rochester, I was able to create a second family. I had the opportunity to play on the Men’s soccer team, and served as captain during my senior year. RU has a special place in my heart, and I wouldn’t have wanted to be anywhere else!"
- BERNARD KANJOMA
"My time at RU was well spent thanks to the amazing faculty and staff members. The professors at RU were superb and prepared me for the world beyond the academic environment. I was able to form several meaningful relationships at RU with a number of people in the community. Rochester University gave me a home away from home and provided me with a community who I have the privilege of calling my family."
- KELSEY SEAWRIGHT
"RU gave me a great foundation for my current career. After I graduated, I went onto graduate school and earned my MBA, and I truly believe that my business degree from RU prepared me for that next level in my academic career! Now, I serve as a member of the MI State Board of Education and NASBE Representative. I also serve as the Executive Director of a non-profit organization, and am a city official serving as the Director of Community and Economic Development."
- TIFFANY TILLEY