Equity and Inclusion in the Honors College
For the University of Vermont Honors College, diversity is fundamental to the definition of who we are. With students from every undergraduate college, and nearly every undergraduate major and academic discipline represented, the HCOL is necessarily intellectually and academically diverse. However, we would fail in our obligation to being a “community of inquiry” if we did not also cultivate and champion diversity in other registers. The Honors College endeavors to cultivate multiple perspectives and gives its students the tools and the space to develop as both critical thinkers and as global citizens. Hence we strive to be a welcoming, nurturing, and inspiring place for students and staff not regardless their identity, beliefs, or places of origin, but as an intentional consequence of the many different individuals and backgrounds that make up the HCOL.
But diversity is only one part of what makes the Honors College, because diversity without a diligent cultivation of equity and inclusion isn’t always a community. For us, the terms “equity” and “inclusion” not only mean that every member of the Honors College has a voice and a role in our community, but also an equal share in the responsibility for making the HCOL a safe, welcoming, and just environment where students can learn and reach their full potential as young scholars and young adults. We take this obligation seriously, because the empowerment of each individual to express and discover themselves strengthens the community as a whole. We strive to be a leader in creating a just, equitable, and inclusive learning environment, because the students we encounter in the Honors College will help ensure that we have a just, equitable, and inclusive world tomorrow.