What Matters to Us: An Inclusive Community

Domenick Scudera, Professor of Theater
Xochitl Shuru, Associate Professor of Modern Languages

By Meghan Brodie
Associate Professor of Theater

Scudera and Shuru

No community is whole without sharing experiences with people from different backgrounds. Many often ask, “What does it mean to be an Ursinus Bear?” While our connection to the red, old gold, and black is the tie that binds, we aren’t Ursinus without the diverse set of cultures that are cornerstones of our campus.

Xochitl Shuru and Domenick Scudera were Ursinus’s Inclusive Community Fellows for the 2020-21 academic year. Providing opportunities for students, faculty, and staff, Professor Shuru worked to deepen connections to the Latinx community and culture, coordinating a weekly Conexiones Book Club for Latinx students; Hora de café, a monthly gathering over coffee and pan dulce for the wider Ursinus community; and the Sí se puede speaker series. Remarking on her work over the past year, she said, “Our students are the motivating force behind my fellowship. Personally, I am most proud of working, supporting, advising, and learning from our students.”


Meanwhile, Professor Scudera focused on supporting, celebrating, and building community among LGBTQ+ students, faculty, and staff. He created programming such as a community open forum on LGBTQ+ issues; lightning talks by and about the experiences of Ursinus faculty and staff; an RA ally training; the Queer Quest book club; and a virtual visit from writer and former U.S. Army servicemember Charlotte Clymer for Ursinus’s Pride celebration. “By recognizing, supporting, and representing the LGBTQ+ community at Ursinus,” Professor Scudera remarked, “we are proving that we value the community and celebrating [its] inclusion in the fabric of our campus.”

Their efforts represent Ursinus’s commitment to “be welcoming, equitable, and inclusive,”
one of the college’s four core values that provides an institutional response to the CIE question,
“What should matter to me?”