Our Commitment to Diversity

Housing and Residential Life (HRL) embraces and values diversity by focusing on people, environment, and staffing practices. Our organizational appreciation for diversity, championed by every member of our organization, is both a goal and a means to promote unity and teamwork.

See the University’s Policy Statement on Affirmative Action and Equal Employment Opportunity.


We value all members who live and work in our residential communities regardless of age, color, ethnicity, gender, sex, national origin, race, religion, sexual orientation, ability, identity, or socio-economic background.


We strive to be an organization where diverse views, peoples, and experiences are welcomed and respected. We endeavor to create an environment that affords students and staff to explore, discover and grow.

Staffing Practices

Housing and Residential Life Staff and Advisors
Resident Advisors and Professional Staff at the 2016 DIVE RI Conference

We are dedicated to recruiting, hiring, promoting, and retaining a diverse staff who, in turn, can deliver a range of programs, services, and co-curricular experiences that enhance student success and reflect our value of diversity in our residential communities. We will strive for a diverse applicant pool through purposeful and thoughtful recruitment efforts. We will strive to promote and maintain a welcoming and supportive learning and working environment.

Housing and Residential Life also embraces the value of constructive and continued dialogue to drive our efforts to learn and develop new interpretations of diversity, multiculturalism, and social justice to help us become a better organization and strive to meet our organizational mission.

HRL Diversity Committee

The HRL Diversity Committee is a standing department committee that is charged with supporting and enhancing the advancement of inclusion, diversity, multiculturalism, and social justice at the University of Rhode Island through programs and initiatives specific to on-campus housing, as well as partnerships with campus-wide partners.

2015-2016 Committee Members:

  • John Sears, Co-chair
  • Donnie Taveras, Co-chair
  • Deborah Bergner
  • Joan Harrington
  • Renee McDonald
  • Chelsea Martini, Fall RA Board Representative
  • Laryssa Domingo, Spring RA Board Representative
  • Oluwadamilol Animashaun

Diversity at HRL

Donnie Taveras and Yihra Peralta
URI Housing GA Hall Director Donnie Taveras (Left), Representative of NASPA Region I Latino Knowledge Community, at the 2016 NASPA Conference and Yihra Peralta (Right), GA in Housing at the University of Connecticut

The Department of Housing and Residential Life (HRL) impacts and provides support for the advancement of inclusion and diversity at URI in many ways. HRL has co-sponsored the very successful student-initiated DIVE RI Conference. Housing works closely with our campus partners, such as Talent Development, The Division of Community, Equity and Diversity, Office of International Students and Scholars, Student Senate and respective student organizations Several of our staff are associated with the University’s Talent Development Program and we work very closely with the leadership of the TD Program. Housing maintains collaborative partnerships with the Office of Disability Student Services and the Multicultural Student Services Center.

HRL has provided guidance and support to the Women’s Center especially during the startup of the Women in Leadership House. Housing collaborates with the Gender and Sexuality Center to promote supportive residential environments, educate and train staff, and co-sponsor the Gender, Equity, and Leadership in Sexuality (GELS) living-learning community. Additionally, the department is integrated into the University’s bias response network and protocols to ensure the residential communities are safe and supportive for all students. Housing is committed to enhancing inclusion and diversity at URI, and we are equally committed to expanding our role and contributions toward that goal. We invite feedback and suggestions on how we can build upon and strengthen those efforts.

Recent departmental diversity initiatives include:

  • Sponsoring the fall 2016 Real Conversations at Home series
  • Co-sponsor and provide funding for RAs to attend DIVE RI 2016 Conference
  • Gender, Equity and Leadership Living Learning Community
  • Contributed to university efforts through 20,000 Voices Conference
  • 100% of RAs and RAMs are Safe Zone Trained
  • RAs and RAM diversity in-service training at Undoing Gender
  • Contributed in professional development for graduate assistant to be involved with the Latino Knowledge Community at NASPA
  • RA and RAM 2016 winter training held workshops in areas of race/ethnicity, religion, gender and sexuality and socio-economic status
  • Diversity training in summer of 2015 for RAs and RAMS including PASS it on social justice conversation and Keep it Real Game
  • Diversity programming is part of the department programming model
  • Professional development opportunities made available to professional staff members.

Diversity Resources at URI

Resident Advisor (RA) Training
From left to right: GA’s Donnie Taveras, Wesley Boucher, HRA Megan Haaland and GA Joseph Argueta after facilitating PASS It On: Social Justice Conversations at the HRL summer RA Training

Information and resources pertaining to inclusion, diversity, and multiculturalism at URI can be found at URI’s Office of Community, Equity and Diversity.


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