West Liberty University Gets Awarded A Diversity Grant

West Liberty University awarded Diversity Grant
By: Emma Beatty
Shortly before the start of the 2020 Fall semester, the Diversity Committee at West Liberty University was awarded a $4,150 grant from the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission’s Diversity for Equity Grant Program. The Co-Chairs of the Diversity Committee, Chris McPherson and Dr. Felipe Rojas, plan to use this money for events and initiatives throughout the year. This will include activities for Black History Month and even a Women’s Empowerment Panel. Diversity includes anything involving religion, race, social status, culture, etc. West Liberty has done very well at promoting diversity among its students, especially by welcoming its international students so graciously. Additionally, this welcoming attitude is further fostered by the efforts of the Diversity Committee. On Oct. 7, the Committee handed out pins and stickers in honor of Coming Out Day. This is only one small example of the work they do.
When asked about the Diversity Grant, Dr. Rojas commented, “All of us at the committee are thrilled that we were given this grant in order to discuss topics and issues that are so relevant in our community and country. We also look forward to experiencing student reactions and interactions with the events we have and will continue to throw during the academic year.” The most recent use of the grant was to supply the Prayer Room located in Shotwell Hall. The money bought prayer mats, posters, and other comfort items. The Rollie Williams International Center, the home of the Prayer Room in Shotwell Hall, acts as a safe space for international students with its study spaces and lounges.
Chris McPherson also made a statement on receiving the grant, “…This is the second year in a row we have received grant funding from West Virginia HEPC for these initiatives. I echo Felipe’s comment that we’re excited as a committee to be able to have access to these funds in order to organize events/activities and further conversations amongst students, faculty, and staff as they relate to diversity, equity, and inclusion.” For information on upcoming events from the Diversity Committee, check their section on the West Liberty University website.