Diversity can be defined as all the characteristics which differentiate us as individuals as well as all the characteristics which make us alike. There are many dimensions to diversity that go well beyond obvious differences such as race, gender, age, physical ability, and marital status. The less obvious dimensions of diversity include, but are not limited to: veteran status, education, sexual orientation, lifestyle, national origin, religious or political affiliation, departmental or organizational "culture", and employee status - unskilled, skilled, professional, etc.
Understanding the dynamics of diversity allows people to respect and value differences. When people feel valued, respected, and empowered, they are more motivated to work together for the common good of all.
The Office of Student Diversity and Multicultural Affairs seeks to develop and implement programs and services that will increase the engagement of students in activities that promote and foster an inclusive living and learning community.
Students will obtain a greater understanding and appreciation of diversity, multiculturalism, and social justice through participation and celebration in a variety of activities.
The office works with student organizations, faculty, and other University offices to further integrate diversity into developmental and social programs for students. As a result, the office establishes meaningful relationships with students in order to effectively address their needs, interests, and concerns.
Barone Campus Center, Room 100
Main Number: (203) 254-4000 ext. 2806
Fax Number: (203) 254-4127
Ophelie Rowe-Allen, EdD
Director of Student Diversity and Multicultural Affairs
Romina Pacheco, PhD
Associate Director for Student Diversity and Multicultural Affairs
Other Links and Resources
The students are encouraged to learn and celebrate the wide-variety of cultural, ethnic, and identity diversity present at Fairfield. Enhancing the richness of cultural diversity through student clubs and organizations is the cornerstone of the multicultural college experience. There are several clubs and organizations that work closey with the Office of Student Diversity and Multicultural Affairs towards supporting this idea.
Alliance - Alliance is a group for LGBT students and straight allies, which exists to promote diversity and acceptance on campus. We hold weekly meetings and a number of events and activities throughout the year. We also act as an advocacy group on campus for LGBT students and issues.
Asian Students Association
The Asian Student Association seeks to spread the awareness of Asian culture on campus. Through various cultural activities and events, such as a Japanese Fall Festival and Chinese New Years, we hope to broaden the diversity of the university. Members of ASA participate in activities such as organizing and setting up for these events, visiting Chinatown in New York City, watching Asian films, and cooking traditional food, among other things. Members discuss issues of young Asian and Asian Americans who seek to better understand their cultural identities.
Spanish and Latino Students Association
The purpose of SALSA is to unite Latinos of all backgrounds, but at the same time infusing Spanish heritage into the Fairfield community.
At Fairfield, we believe that no matter what's going on in the world, more unites us than divides us. When we respect and value each other, we find the common good rooted in us all, and work together to bring out each other's potential.
We're committed to community - an inclusive, welcoming community that represents the ever-changing global populace. To that end, we offer initiatives like Upward Bound, a tuition-free program for deserving college bound high school seniors, plus a number of clubs and organizations that promote diversity, like the Ally Network. Our academic offerings include programs such as Black Studies, Asian Studies, Judaic Studies, and International Studies.
By encouraging better communication and understanding, we're fostering better students, and a better world.
Members of the Fairfield University community are committed to respecting and valuing one another, finding the common good rooted in us all, and working collaboratively to achieve our potential as a modern Jesuit Catholic institution. We aspire to be an inclusive, welcoming community that is representative of an ever-changing and diverse global populace. The Jesuit tradition of cura personalis – care for the whole person – animates our mission. We educate men and women who serve for and with others within the rich tapestry of cultures that comprise our contemporary world.
By encouraging dialogue, communication, community partnerships, and a culture of understanding, we foster in our students, faculty, and staff the capacity and desire to build a better world through productive citizenship and societal stewardship.
At Fairfield University, we advance this mission through:
Through radical hospitality, we welcome and invite all into our learning community. We are committed to pursuing shared standards of excellence. In these ways, Fairfield University strives for the magis (“the more”) in a way that defines modern Jesuit Catholic education.
Chartered by the President, the purpose of this Working Group on Inclusive Excellence is to advance the Jesuit Catholic Commitment of Fairfield University to creating and supporting radical hospitality for and with diverse others in our teaching, learning, scholarship, and service.
Associate Vice Provost for Scholarly, Creative, and Community Engagement
Associate Dean, Residence Life, Director of Residence Life and Student Diversity and Multicultural Affairs
Vice President for Marketing and Communications
Vice President for Mission and Identity
Vice President for Human Resources
Associate Professor of Religious Studies, Faculty Chair for Inclusive Excellence
Principal, Fairfield Preparatory School
Director of Athletics
Vice President for Strategic Enrollment Management
Fairfield University's mandate is to prepare all members of its community to reflect humbly on our privileges, to use creative means to connect with others, to seek experiences that allow for the application and expansion of knowledge gained in the classroom, and to recognize the value inherent in striving to transform society for the greater good. In order to connect the individual to the collective, to identify social injustice, and to define the tools necessary to redress it, Fairfield has begun to explicitly orient itself toward a global vision - the education and formation of global citizens.
As a Jesuit institution, Fairfield University's adherence to Ignatian spirituality and pedagogy involves developing a vision of the world that is holistic and balances intellectual, emotional, and spiritual understandings and responses. By drawing on all of these rich resources, one seeks the essential value in everything and cultivates a passion for justice. Arguably the first step in this process is having the ability to recognize the humanity in all people and cultures. It is essential to seek a common humanity if one is to commit to social justice through service to and with others. Thus, Fairfield's mission is to produce students whose academic, cultural, and aesthetic acumen equips them to recognize the value of others - those both similar to and different from themselves - and the importance of community building. As lifelong learners who are "morally and socially responsible," Fairfield graduates should be capable of navigating a wide variety of unfamiliar social situations, both domestic and international.
Fairfield University is at an exciting juncture concerning global education and social justice. As the University strategic plan makes clear, Fairfield is integrating the vision of globalization at every level of the institution and is undertaking new and exciting initiatives to satisfy all of the goals in the strategic plan in order to reflect and share this vision of global social justice.
Core Pathways: Global Citizenship
Global Citizenship is also one of six core pathways underlying Fairfield's core curriculum. Learn more
Fairfield’s vibrant community welcomes all people, regardless of race, ethnicity, gender identity, sexual orientation, ability/disability status, religion, and tradition. Fostering inclusion and understanding across the many human differences that often divide and marginalize, the Fairfield community is united in its reverence for the human dignity of every person. We recognize that viable solutions to enduring problems emerge when people with diverse backgrounds and skills work together with mutual respect, toward common goals.
The Diversity Council was appointed by President Jeffrey von Arx, S.J. in 2005. The Council was organized to evaluate, review, and assess the institution's progress as it strengthens its multicultural education curricula and human diversity foundation and goals. The Council membership is drawn from all sectors of the University community.
The issue of diversity has taken on a greater and more prominent role at Fairfield University and in higher education across America. Diversity in all its human forms and varieties, along with the Jesuit mission and identity, is a basic tenet which under girds all three prongs of Fairfield University's Strategic Plan.
Fairfield University Office of Student Engagement offers a number of programs and services to students including Safe Space Program, Ally Network, Veteran Support, Academic Immersion and Cura Personalis Mentoring Program.
The Office of Student Diversity and Multicultural Affairs supports a wide variety of diverse and affinity clubs that allow students to be engaged outside of the classroom. Students who are involved in these co-curricular activities gain leadership skills and make the most out of their collegiate experience.
Staff and Contact Information
Main Phone, ext. 2806
Office of Student Diversity and Multicultural Affairs
Ophelie Rowe-Allen, director of Student Diversity and Muliticutural Affairs
Jasmine Raghunandan, program coordinator of Student Diversity and Multicultural Affairs
Romina Pacheco, program coordinator of Cura Personalis Mentoring Program
Sharon Daly, operations assistant of Student Diversity and Muliticutural Affairs