When presented with a challenge in life, we are often compelled to choose the easy or hard route. The easy route usually offers little resistance, no opportunities for growth and allows the status quo to remain in place. The hard route, or road less taken, isn’t meant to be easy but it is filled with adversity that builds character and enables positive, sustainable change.
This week, we saw the women of Alpha Phi choose to take the road less traveled, and I couldn’t be any more proud of them than I already am. They knew it wouldn’t be easy or popular, but believed that their work was necessary to create the community we are continuously striving to be within Fraternity & Sorority Life at The Flagship. A community where seeking knowledge supersedes the fear of making a mistake when it comes to diversity, equity and inclusion.
This year, the Division of Diversity & Community Engagement unveiled the Pathways to Equity Strategic Plan, which provides a roadmap to advancing Institutional Capacity for Equity, cultivating a diverse and equitable community and fostering an inclusive campus climate. Additionally, Fraternity & Sorority Life released its strategic plan, MomentUM 2025, in which DEI is not only named as a strategic value but it is intertwined within all aspects of the plan.
Both of these plans will require work from all of us. Every member of the UM community and, specifically, every member of a fraternity or sorority here on this campus. Alpha Phi is the first chapter to implement its DEI committee, but I’m sure they won’t be the last. These groups are necessary to ensure that the conversations continue to happen and action steps are taken to ensure we are creating a more inclusive community.
I challenge each of you to be unafraid to learn and ask questions. Support your peers and lift
one another up. Ignore the noise and don’t feed into negative actors. Most of all, I challenge each of you to take the road less traveled. Your Fraternity & Sorority Life staff will be here supporting and advocating for you along the way … and that’s on #FSLatTheFlagship.
Arthur E. Doctor, Jr., Ed.D.
Director of the Office of Fraternity & Sorority Life