Commitment to equality and inclusive community
Our spiritual DNA is all about open dialogue and finding ways to connect with one another. That’s where diversity and inclusion come in. By meeting people from all walks of life, you’ll learn about different cultures, hear new perspectives and step outside your comfort zone.
Identity Development and Cultural Appreciation
Bridgewater College is committed to the core value of equality that leads to a connected campus community. We seek to engage the many voices and perspectives that exist within our community through programs and services.
Each member of our community is encouraged to share their perspective appropriately, thereby helping us to build a more inclusive and positive community that values every individual and group. At BC, we foster awareness, respect, understanding and cooperation among everyone.
Students are encouraged to engage with this office within student life to investigate their personal identity and expand current knowledge about other cultures. The Office of Identity Development and Cultural Appreciation is composed of the Center for Diversity Education and Advocacy, Spiritual Life and Personal Growth, as well as Student Retention and Success Services.
Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Advocacy Center
The IDEA Center creates meaningful opportunities for all BC students, faculty, staff and community. Together, we can share, learn and grow in understanding and appreciation of cultural differences and similarities. We all share in the work of creating and supporting a diverse, equitable and inclusive campus community. The College provides several strategies to promote equity and inclusion throughout campus to encourage a more diverse community.
- Community Conversations
- Community Connections
- BC Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration
- Social and Educational Cultural Programs
- Heritage Month Recognition Programs
- Meeting and program space
- One-on-one consultation with members of the campus community
- Training and development with student organizations and campus departments
- Community engagement
- Race Based Trauma Resources and Support in Times of Civil Strife
- Behavioral Health and Race-Based Trauma
- Be Heard Talk: Selena Hill, Stanley Fritz, and Tammie David
- Black Girl Podcast: Scottie Beam, Gia Peppers, Sapphira Emmanuelle, Rebecca “Bex” Francois, and Alysha Pamphile
- Brown Girls Rising: Audry Bellis
- All My Relations: Matika Wilbur and Adrienne Kenne
- The Melanated Social Work Podcast: Josh McNeil, Marvin Toliver, Michael Grinnell, and Jesse Wiltey
- Between Sessions: Eliza Boqiun and Eboni Harris
- Transgender Resources
- LGBTQ Resource List
- Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Health
- Human Rights Campaign: What Resources do other LGBTQ Organizations have to offer young people?
- Trans Lifeline: 877-565-8860
- The Trevor Project: 866-488-7386
- LGBT National Youth Talkline: 1-800-246-7743
- Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender National Hotline: 1-888-843-4564
- PRIDE Institute (substance-dependency): 888-616-5031
Virginia and Local Resources
- Transgender Health Alliance of Central Virginia
- Equality Virginia
- Shenandoah Valley Equality
- Shenandoah Valley Pride
- Shenandoah LGBTQ Center
- Staunton Pride
- ARROW Project
- Making Gay History: Eric Marcus
- Queery: Cameron Esposito
- Gender Reveal: Tuck Woodstock
- LGBTQ&A: Jeffrey Masters
- One From The Vaults: Morgan M. Page
- Dead For Filth: Michael Varrati
- The Read: Crissle West and Kid Fury
- Nancy: Tobin Low and Kathy Tu
Queer Coloring Pages
Resources for Navigating Non-affirming Home Environments for Queer Folks
- Going Home For The Holidays… Or Any Days
- 8 Queer Tips to Get Through the Holidays
- A Guide to Going Home for Break: Resources for LGBTQ+ Students
- 8 Tips for LGBT People to Lower Holiday Stress
- Trevor Project: Holiday Self-Care Tips for LGBTQ Youth
- Trevor Project 24/7 Support
- Tips for Allies of Transgender People
- Being an Ally to LGBT People
- 10 Ways to be an Ally & a Friend
- LGBTQIA Ally Tips-Basic tips for expanding your allyship
Allies for the BIPOC Community
Bridgewater College is historically affiliated with the Church of the Brethren, a Christian denomination founded on the core values of equality, community, simplicity, service and peace. Bridgewater honors its heritage while welcoming students of all religious, spiritual, and philosophical perspectives as part of an open, inclusive, and diverse learning community.
The College chaplain oversees the spiritual life program and offers spiritual guidance and support to all members of the campus community. No matter what you believe, you are welcome here.
Student Success Resources
We are here to support student success so that you stay on track towards graduation. The student retention and success services provide support for students who prefer a support network or additional resources to navigate the campus. Our Eagle Success program and student organizations are great strategies for students to be connected on campus.
The Eagle Success program is a student success initiative for new students at the College. It is a peer mentoring program that supports students who seek advice or information from upper class students who could have similar experiences. We understand that it can be comfortable to reach out to your peers about personal or student related questions.
Eagle Success is an open opportunity for Bridgewater College students; however, research shows that underrepresented, Pell-eligible and first-generation students experience strong outcomes by participating in peer mentoring programs.
We invite first-year students to participate in Eagle Success so that you develop a stronger connection to campus and feel a sense of belonging. Upper class students should consider being mentors to help support and guide new students.
Please email the Eagle Success team at ES@bridgewater.edu to learn more about being involved as a mentor or a mentee.
Asian Student Association celebrates the Asian cultures through music, dance, holiday celebrations, and social issues that impact the Asian identity at Bridgewater College and the surrounding community. ASA provides social and service activities for all interested individuals and promotes identity and unity among the Asian students of Bridgewater College.
Black Student Alliance (BSA) is an organization that uplifts and supports Black students here at Bridgewater College. We facilitate connections among Black students as well as promote understanding and awareness of different intersectional identities in the Black community. BSA also educates and encourages our members to be empathetic, mindful, and inclusive individuals in our Bridgewater campus community. We are a group that is open to all students.
BC Allies is the LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Questioning) advocacy group on campus, open to students, faculty and staff. BC Allies works to create greater awareness for the LGBTQ community and increase advocacy for LGBTQ issues. Open to all students.
Latino Student Association is dedicated to creating, fostering, and bringing awareness about the Latino/a community at the college. Open to all students.
The College also has faith-based student organizations that are listed in the spiritual life area.
The Intercultural Advisory Council (IAC) promotes ideas that strongly encourage a welcoming environment. The council is a small group of faculty, staff and administrators who discuss trending issues and campus concerns to provide a foundation for more sensitive and informed interactions and to increase inclusivity across the college.
- Cole Hall (2 on lower level)
- Daleville Hall (1 on first floor)
- Dillon Hall (1 on first floor)
- Geisert Hall (1 on first floor, ADA accessible)
- Memorial Hall (2 on first floor, ADA accessible)
- Nininger Hall (2 on main floor near coaches’ offices)
- Wampler Towers (1 in common room of each building, ADA accessible)
- Wright-Heritage Link (2 in Crimson Café and 2 on top floor, ADA accessible)
- Yount Hall (2 on first floor, ADA accessible)
Meet the Staff
Dr. Gauri A. Pitale
Associate Dean of Students for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
Gauri is the Associate Dean of Students for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. In this role, she is responsible for developing and supporting campus-wide initiatives that provide vision and direction for inclusion initiatives with a particular focus on diversity and equity. She serves as an advocate on campus for the interests of traditionally underrepresented students. Originally from Mumbai, India, Gauri earned her BA in Ancient Indian Culture from St. Xavier’s College, Mumbai, India and her MA in Ancient Indian Culture, History, and Archaeology from Deccan College Post Graduate and Research Institute in Pune, India. Gauri moved to the United States of America in 2008 to join Southern Illinois University Carbondale where she completed an MA in Biological Anthropology and a PhD in Medical Anthropology. In her free time, Gauri likes to cook, embroider, take walks, and play games.
Rev. Erin Burt
Erin Burt serves as the Chaplain at Bridgewater College. She is ordained as a pastor by the Presbyterian Church (USA). Erin is passionate about supporting students and the spiritual needs of communities. Erin received her B.A. in psychology and sociology along with Masters in Business Administration degree from Georgia State University. She went on to receive her M.S. in patient counseling degree from Virginia Commonwealth University and Master of Divinity degree from Union Presbyterian Seminary. In her free time, Erin loves to hike, kayak and hang out with her dogs.