Diversity, Equity, Belonging, and Inclusion (DEBI) initiatives

Our RecWell team of staff and students work hard behind the scenes to advance critical Diversity, Equity, Belonging, and Inclusion (DEBI) initiatives. We prioritize making our facilities as inclusive and accessible as possible. For more information about RecWell’s DEBI initiatives, please contact Trisha Saunders, Associate Director for Programs & Assessment at trsaunders@vcu.edu

DEI Committee Ongoing Goals:

  • Assess department structures and systems to evaluate if they support and advance the values of diversity, equity and inclusion, including guiding documents, policies, procedures, training, facilities, programs, services, language and signage.
  • Identify potential barriers to access our programs, services, facilities, and employment opportunities. 
  • Make specific DEI based recommendations to the department and/or functional areas based on information gathered during assessments and audits.
  • Advance diversity, equity, and inclusion knowledge and best practices through training and educational opportunities.

2023-2024 Initiatives

  • Identify immediate actions that can be taken from the EAS Facility Audit
  • Create inclusive, welcoming messaging throughout RecWell facilities.
  • Create inclusive Fitness Floor redesign plan which incorporates member feedback and results from the EAS audit. 
    • Our team is explore options for purchasing a new line of fully accessible fitness equipment to replace old and outdated models and working with key stakeholders at VCU and in the Richmond community to train staff on how to use the full range of accessibility features.
  • Update RecWell website with additional information about adaptive and accessible equipment and programming. 

2022-2023 Initiatives

  • Data-driven changes based on the results from the 2022 Member Feedback Survey, Program Utilization Project, and Employee Climate Survey. 
  • Updating Rental Locker Options 
    • Our team has created new Rental Locker options for our RecWell Ramily with Gender Non-Binary, Gender Non-Conforming, or Gender Queer identities, or who choose not to use lockers within gendered facility spaces. We have provided these lockers as a short-term option, with the aim of creating a longer-term plan to renovate facilities to provide more inclusive spaces overall.   
  • RecWell Facilities Audit
    • RecWell has collaborated with VCU Equity and Access Services to conduct a series of facilities tours with the aim of identifying areas of opportunity to increase facility accessibility. At the same time, we are working internally to conduct an inclusivity audit of programs and spaces to ensure that we are creating the safest and most welcoming environment possible for all of our VCU community. 
    • As potential opportunities are identified, RecWell will determine what can be accomplished immediately, through short-term facility planning, and what needs to be incorporated into a longer-range facility and space plan. 
  • Student Staff feedback and listening sessions

2021-2022 Initiatives

  • The DEI Advisory Committee created new Inclusive hiring practices and guidelines for any area within RecWell initiating a search process for new staff. 
  • Disaggregated assessment practices 
    • As part of RecWell’s ongoing assessment plan, program engagement data across all RecWell areas is collected. RecWell requests institutional demographic data for unique program participants who are students. This information is analyzed both overall and by program area to better understand how we are serving our students and what changes we might need to make to better serve students across identities and intersections of identities. We also administered a comprehensive member feedback survey in 2022 that asked for anonymous demographic data so that we could see what impacts, if any, holding various identities might have on participants’ experiences with RecWell. Results were shared with all staff and by program area during our annual staff retreat so that our team could identify opportunities for program improvement moving forward. 
  • Student Staff Climate Survey
    • In 2022, we administered an anonymous survey to RecWell student staff focused on better understanding the climate within RecWell. Results were shared with our staff and by area. Our RecWell Leadership Team developed action items to address key issues and has been implementing them throughout the 2022-2023 academic year.