Center for Student Connection and Belonging
The Center for Student Connection and Belonging aspires to help create and sustain a vibrant and welcoming community. We envision a university-wide culture that is free from fear, hatred, and prejudice. Through our commitment to educating the campus community on various issues, we hope to promote global citizenry that will foster inclusive communities both on campus and worldwide. As a core value of the Center, we frame our work in restorative practices, focusing on community engagement and creating inclusive environments for intentional communication to establish values, share experiences, and build relationships with people sharing a collaborative space.
The Center for Student Connection and Belonging seeks to advance the University of New Orleans' effort to embed diversity and inclusion as a transformational force in all aspects of the student experience. The Center will guide efforts to conceptualize, assess, and cultivate an enriching and accountable climate that allows all members to thrive and succeed. Through our strategic planning and programmatic development, we hope to facilitate the integration of better representation, equity, belonging, and care into our institutional policies, protocols, practices, and learning spaces.
More specifically, the Center for Student Connection and Belonging will:
- Provide holistic co-curricular support services for students;
- Introduce equity and inclusion into the systems, structures, and culture of the University;
- Provide expertise and leadership on programmatic efforts to retain students.
- Help develop policies to make the campus more welcoming and inclusive;
- Develop and implement co-curricular programs and services that foster cultural competency.
- Provide a safe and welcoming space for all students to engage their multiple, intersecting, and evolving identities.
We want to take a moment to acknowledge the importance of the lands and that the lands on which we sit are the original homelands of Indigenous Peoples of what was called Bulbancha, or a place of many tongues before it was known as New Orleans. We do this to reaffirm our commitment and responsibility in improving relationships between nations and for non-indigenous folks to improve our understanding of local Indigenous peoples and their cultures. We acknowledge the ancestral and unceded territory of all indigenous peoples who call this land home.
The Indigenous nations and tribal communities of this land include the Chitimacha Tribe of Louisiana, the Coushatta Tribe of Louisiana, the Jena Band of Choctaw Indians, and the Tunica-Biloxi Indian Tribe of Louisiana. There are also several state-recognized tribes in Louisiana, which include the Biloxi-Chitimacha Confederation of Muskogee, Choctaw-Apache Community, Clifton Choctaw, Four Winds Tribe Louisiana Cherokee Confederacy, the Pointe-Au-Chien Indian Tribe, and the United Houma Nation.
Please take a moment to reflect and acknowledge the past's harms and mistakes and consider how we can each, in our own way, try to move forward in a spirit of reconciliation and right relationships in collaboration with Indigenous Peoples.