DEI Program Year Two

Students now have the chance to create their own initiatives and collaborate with faculty towards diversity, equity, and inclusion.


Luca D'Agruma

Last year, the Laguna’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion program revised the dress code policy, instituted comprehensive sexual assault and harassment prevention education, held social justice lunches, and organized a Pride Celebration in June. 

Now, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Coordinator Ursula Chan hopes to further the progress she made. 

“The Student DEI Committee would be available to meet throughout the year to amplify, discuss, and collaborate on student concerns,” Chan said. 

The new student committee is a project of the larger DEI committee that aims to include students in the program’s initiatives, in addition to creating their own. 

“Part of this is about creating community investment within the student body towards DEI, and understanding and supporting the diversity, equity, and inclusion in our school,” Chan said. 

Across the country, institutions like Laguna are grappling with issues around Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. Chan says we should show “more obvious culture changes that we believe in as a school, which is supporting every person who is on our campus regardless of their identities.” 

More initiatives like that, Chan says, in addition to helping faculty learn how to support students, is the key to understanding our “roles as allies.” 

The National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS) curated a list of Principles of Good Practice around Equity and Justice, which includes standards such as schools developing “meaningful requirements for cross-cultural competency, training and support for all members of its community, including the board of trustees, parents, students, and all schools personnel,” and deliberate work to ensure that “the board of trustees, administration, faculty, staff, and student body reflect the diversity that is present in the rapidly changing and increasingly diverse school-age population in our country.” 

The standards apply across all departments, from admissions to athletics, in order to provide common ground for interaction between independent schools and their constituencies. Laguna’s program is similar in its drive towards including the entire community in its mission. 

From fostering a welcoming environment to LGBTQ+ students to encouraging civic engagement, Chan is excited for the future. 

If anyone would like to join the Student DEI Committee, Chan says any student can email her about the committee or any issue they would like to discuss, in addition to meeting during her office hours.