The UCS has been actively working to foster the development of a multicultural organization for many years. In 1994, the Director appointed the Diversity Issues Steering Committee (DISC) to help the UCS further deepen its diversity commitment. DISC established as its mission facilitative, consultative, and advisory responsibilities to support the staff and agency in implementing the diversity mission. DISC membership is open to all UCS staff and interns.
The Diversity Issues Steering Committee (DISC) is an action committee whose mission is to invite, promote, and celebrate difference in space and interactions at the University Counseling Service (UCS). DISC initiates, advises, and acts to create equity and inclusion at the UCS, which aims to impact the greater University of Iowa community.
The mission is carried out by:
- Conducting formal and informal needs assessments about diversity issues.
- Advising administrative leadership about agency needs pertaining to equity and inclusion.
- Initiating and implementing changes in the agency to align with UCS’s commitment to diversity.
- Promoting educational efforts to encourage individual and group ownership of UCS’s commitment to diversity.
- Promoting the UCS staff’s willingness and ability to engage in difficult dialogue around difference.
Significant DISC contributions to UCS have included:
- Transforming our physical environment where cultural diversity is reflected through art
- Encouraging self-assessment of staff multicultural competence
- Establishing multicultural liaison relationships and identifying themes of campus needs related to diversity and inclusion
- Adding items to evaluation forms and client satisfaction surveys to measure multicultural competence
- Revising the UCS general mission statement and diversity definition
- Reviewing agency support and priority for multicultural training
- Providing staff training on implicit bias and multicultural considerations in hiring
- Revising new staff orientation procedures regarding campus collaborations and multicultural resources
- Developing subcommittees to respond to national and local diversity issues such as systemic racism through outreach
- Sponsoring multicultural staff development training for UCS staff continuing education with topics such as white privilege, men and masculinity, Chinese culture, Native American Identity, and an ACT-based approach to social justice work
- Collaborating with the Division Student Life Multicultural Work Group