A Respectful Society Begins with a Respectful Campus

Kellie Sones

What does the word "respect" mean to you?

According to Curtis Sicheneder, assistant director of facilities and operations at the Wildcat Recreation Center (WREC), the word respect involves inclusion and support for all people.

Currently in its fourth year of operation, the WREC is a place for Chico State students, staff, and faculty to participate in recreational sports and group or individual exercise activities. In an attempt to foster a respectful and inclusive environment at Chico State, Sicheneder decided to create and display a large banner in the WREC, showing the facility's support of people from all walks of life.
Respect banner at the Wrec
The Respect banner at the Wrec Center

"We support diversity in the Associated Students," Sicheneder said. "We support diversity in the WREC. It was time to put that out there forefront because we felt that, at least for some students on campus, that may be a signal to them that this is a safe place."

So far, the response to the banner has not been huge, but Sicheneder believes that it has been significant.

"We were able to use it as an educational tool when we did our staff training before the fall semester," he said. "Now it's up to us to display and employ those beliefs in our area of work."

Brooke Magnotta, program supervisor at the WREC, also played a large role in creating and implementing the banner, which is intended to challenge the campus community to live a life of respect, inclusion, and support for all people.

"In a perfect world, we would gain the reputation of being an inclusive facility and stand by it," Magnotta said. "Not just through the words on our walls, but through the actions of our staff and the actions of our members."

The respect banner is permanently on display on the first floor, south-facing wall of the WREC. It is intended to exhibit the WREC's support of inclusion, dignity and diversity, both in and outside its walls.

run for respect event photo run for respect event photo
On Saturday, October 12, 35 students and faculty members participated in the Run for Respect, sponsored by the WREC and the Office of Diversity and Inclusion.