CMU President Stresses Diversity, Inclusion Programs in State of the University Speech

Diversity and inclusion are top priorities for Central Michigan University President Bob Davies.

Thursday, Davies gave his State of the University speech.

He has been in power for about a year, and he took office around the time racist and transphobic incidents rocked campus.

Thursday marked exactly one year since a black student was targeted by a racist note on her dorm room whiteboard. Just weeks later, a transphobic note was found taped to another student’s room.

One of President Davies’ goals is to create a more inclusive and equitable marketplace of ideas and actions at CMU, and he’s done that by creating 60 diversity programs in the past year.

“The whole idea is to bring these [issues] to light, discuss them and to have people engage in those types of discussions,” said Davies. “[We’re doing this] to enhance the climate, if you will, of Central Michigan University. So individuals feel personally valued and have the safety, and the freedom, to express ideas.”

CMU sophomore Tyler Balkany says the school has come a long way since last year’s incidents.

“It was addressed and lots of steps were taken against that so I think the school handled it well,” said Balkany. “It’s never a climate where I feel not accepted, everyone is pretty friendly here which is good.”

Freshman Megan Lasceski says the inclusive atmosphere is what attracted her to Central.

“This one really stood out to me. They’re very inclusive to all types of people and all types of interests of everyone,” said Lasceski.

While there’s always room to grow, the Chippewas say they’re on the right track.

“We have a couple classes that we take and they really just show us everything that there is and encourage diversity among the students,” said Davies.