Division of Inclusion and Equity adds new position

GVL/Bo Anderson

Adriel Hilton

GVL/Bo Anderson Adriel Hilton

Sarah Hillenbrand

The Grand Valley State University Inclusion and Equity Office recently added the new position of assistant vice president for inclusion initiatives. One of the purposes of the new position is to be a liaison between the three student centers that aim to emphasize and aid in situations dealing with diversity.

“I believe that adding this new position will assist students as this individual will serve as a liaison to the Office of Multicultural Affairs, the Women’s Center and the LGBT Resource Center to help enhance co-curricular program offerings,” said Jeanne Arnold, vice president for Inclusion and Equity.

Adriel Hilton was hired to fill the position, and he said he hopes to promote access, respect, inclusiveness and community.

“My goal is to assist with enhancing co-curricular program offerings within the Office of Multicultural Affairs, the Women’s Center and the LGBT Resource Center,” Hilton said. “Also, I hope to assist with pipeline initiatives which encourage diverse students to consider Grand Valley State University as a university for their collegiate experience.”

Arnold said the responsibilities and duties of the position are to work with deans, colleges, departments, schools and divisions to “provide informational resources, consultation and other support that will help to enhance the university’s inclusion work” in the areas of strategic plan implementation, campus and community climate initiatives, pipeline initiatives, recruitment retention and advancement initiatives for faculty, staff and students.

Members of the Student Senate Diversity Affairs Committee also met with Hilton to talk about university goals. Ricardo Benavidez, vice president for the Diversity Affairs Committee, said the new position will help the three centers better communicate and work together, as well as work with other university offices.

“The university implemented this new office in an effort to make Grand Valley a 100 percent racism-free campus,” he said.

Hilton said he hopes to connect the three centers so they can receive support and guidance for their work.

“Each center plays a vital role in the success of students at the university and I would like to bolster the already existing programming and initiatives that are currently employed at the university,” he said.

Hilton is also working with The Partners for a Racism Free Community, Benavidez said. The process will take about a year working with faculty, staff and the vice president of the Diversity Affairs Committee to make sure every aspect of GVSU is functioning racism-free.

“This is an effort for Grand Valley to receive accreditation as a campus and community that promotes and exists as a welcoming and compassionate atmosphere,” Benavidez said.

Adding the new position also helps GVSU further its goals, Arnold said.

“I believe that adding this position to the Division of Inclusion and Equity and the university supports the university’s strategic plan goals,” she said. “This position will assist the university in its efforts to build and sustain an inclusive campus climate for all.”

Hilton’s research has been focused on the issues of the African American male achievement gap and retention in postsecondary education, so he said he hopes to impact GVSU by being a resource.

“I hope to impact the students at GVSU positively by informing them that I am a resource and that I have an open door policy,” he said. “I also hope to impact the students by assisting with the recruitment and retention of all students, but specifically students of color.”

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