In preparation for their Fall 2021 issue, the National Association of College Auxiliary Services (NACAS) invited NIRSA to author an article for College Services, their quarterly magazine. NACAS planned for the fall issue of the magazine to focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) and, in particular, how to be inclusive of higher education professionals of all backgrounds. They asked NIRSA to contribute an article regarding recent DEI efforts in our association and their importance to the collegiate recreation and wellbeing profession’s collective work.

Cara Lucia, Ph.D, associate professor at Elon University and current NIRSA President authored the article, titled “Inclusive Excellence in Collegiate Recreation: How NIRSA is Exhibiting Action.” This title is a nod, in part, to NIRSA’s 2021-2024 Strategic Plan and its strategic priority “NIRSA will strive for inclusive excellence through an anti-racist and equity lens.”

Read the article

Inclusive excellence and holistic wellbeing

In the article, Cara discusses NIRSA’s history as a significant piece of our association’s ‘why,’ and she also highlights several recent association efforts in the DEI space – including the 21 Day Challenge, current climate study, caucuses, and her presidential “Change Makers” series.

Like NIRSA, NACAS is one of the 15 organizations signed on to the Inter-association Wellbeing Commitment. Those associations are in regular conversation with each other about their individual and collective wellbeing efforts. This conversation regarding DEI efforts and their importance is a direct outcome of that wellbeing work.

Importantly, Cara notes in her article, “[NIRSA’s] dedication to inclusive excellence intersects with our commitment to being a driving force in an integrated approach to wellbeing and to reimaging learning, education, and networking for our members.” Too often DEI work is looked at as separate from wellbeing, but meaningful progress in each of these areas in dependent on them being considered together.

As NIRSA’s current Strategic Plan emphasizes, “NIRSA will promote and foster the understanding that wellbeing is holistic — and that communities cannot be well if their members are not well — just as individuals cannot be well if the structures, systems, and normative behaviors that surround them are not well.”

October 7 Virtual Town Hall

Join Cara and other members of the NIRSA Board of Directors at noon Eastern/9:00am Pacific on October 7 at a virtual town hall event for the chance to ask questions and get updates about the Association, specifically around NIRSA’s strategic plan and ongoing strategic priority work.

This virtual town hall will be a great chance to learn more about NIRSA efforts around inclusive excellence, health and wellbeing, and reimagined learning and networking opportunities. Plus, hosts will provide an update about NIRSA’s financial health. Registration is free.

Register today

  • For more information about College Services Magazine, visit the NACAS website.