Belonging & Community

Belonging & Community

We have made substantial strides toward building a more diverse, equitable and inclusive University community, but we have more work to do to ensure that all Spiders feel as though they belong in our web and can fully and authentically participate in University life.

We aspire to cultivate a compassionate, caring, and welcoming University community — one where each of us matters and where every Spider feels and is seen, heard, and valued, and has someone they can look to for support. All Spiders can play a role in fostering belonging and community.

Every Spider will be connected to and have a place in our web — whether on or off campus, locally or globally. And all Spiders will be part of creating our future.

We will foster thoughtful and respectful interactions with a broad diversity of perspectives and experiences.

To foster a stronger sense of belonging, we will:

Recruit, retain, and support a diverse, talented university community

  • Continue to implement strategies to recruit, retain and support a diverse and vibrant University community
  • Enhance and expand opportunities for student, staff, and faculty development, starting when people first join our University and continuing thereafter
Two young women and two young girls wearing red Richmond shirts pose together at a tailgate.

Expand opportunities for all members of the university community to participate in university life and feel a part of our university community

  • Foster traditions and programming that grow school spirit and facilitate large-scale community building across and engagement with the University
  • Enhance support for programs that help facilitate connectedness and community for students, such as those offered through the Center for Student Involvement, Office of the Chaplaincy, Student Center for Equity & Inclusion, Center for Civic Engagement, and the Office of International Education
  • Through our forthcoming campus space planning efforts, explore opportunities to enhance existing (and/or provide additional) campus spaces to ensure all members of the University community can fully participate in University life
  • Establish additional theme and special interest housing for students
  • Support flourishing student, staff, and faculty affinity groups
  • Enhance existing and explore additional opportunities for connecting and engaging alumni and family with each other, both on campus and within our global Spider network

Develop additional (and enhance existing) opportunities for Spiders to engage across and be exposed to a variety of experiences and perspectives

  • Expand opportunities for our University community to build and practice skills for engaging in dialogue across differences of experiences and perspectives
  • Enhance support for programming and initiatives that facilitate thoughtful deliberation and the exchange of ideas
  • Continue to support engagement of the campus community with alumni, parents, friends, and the greater community, including through athletics, lectures and discussions, and the arts
Football players in red uniforms and white helmets walk onto the field.

Enhance support for Spider Athletics and University Recreation

  • Invest in our Division 1 athletics program
  • Implement the Spider Athletics strategic plan to benefit our scholar-athletes
  • Continue to leverage Athletics as a way to bring Spiders together and connect with the greater community
  • Support growing programs in club sports as a way to foster community-building and leadership opportunities for our students

Every Spider will be connected to and have a place in our web — whether on or off campus, locally or globally. And all Spiders will be part of creating our future.