'Proud to be Otters' campaign celebrates diversity

Monte Rey with students

Otter mascot Monte Rey with students outside the Tanimura and Antle Family Memorial Library. | Photo by Shannon Cronin

February 13, 2023

To promote inclusive excellence and celebrate the diversity of the CSU Monterey Bay community, the President's Committee for Equity and Inclusion launched a year-long campaign on social media called “Proud to be Otters” aka #ProudToBeOtters.

Students, staff, faculty and alumni will share what they would like the campus community to know about their social identity groups, including gender, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, economic class and more, in posts on official CSUMB social media accounts. Those who would like to participate should submit information via the  "Proud to be Otters” Awareness Campaign Form.

“Inclusive excellence — a purposeful attentiveness to the needs and contributions of a diverse community of learners — is a fundamental determinate of the success of our students and our institution,” said Steven Goings, director of CSUMB’s affiliate of the National Coalition Building Institute and PCEI communications subcommittee co-chair.

“A commitment to inclusive excellence is a commitment to ensuring an experience of belonging for all community members which is crucial to the retention and development of our students and employees.”

The name of the campaign was inspired by the phrase “Make All Otters Proud” often used by Vanya Quinoñes, CSUMB’s new president, at the end of her speeches and written messages.

In her first official message to the campus community in August 2022, Quinoñes pledged to make “enhancing our efforts in diversity, equity, and inclusion” one of the main focuses of her presidency. She reiterated the commitment in her first State of the University speech on Nov. 30. She identified seven opportunity areas for CSUMB including “embrace diversity, equity, and inclusion.”

This continuing commitment to inclusive excellence is rooted in CSUMB’s Founding Vision Statement which declared: “The identity of the university will be framed by substantive commitment to multilingual, multicultural, gender-equitable learning.” 

The PCEI is an advisory body to the president comprised of representatives from all divisions on campus. The primary responsibility of the committee is to provide campus leadership and accountability for efforts that promote an equitable and inclusive campus community.