October 2017 was just the beginning of Wright State University’s efforts to embrace the wellbeing of minority groups on campus. Retain the 9 was created to provide a sense of belonging and reassurance to underrepresented minorities.
According to Provost Susan Edwards, the rate of minority dropout was a seemingly higher percentage across campus.
“The Retain The 9 Initiative was started to try and halt that trend and better protect one of our greatest strengths at Wright State,” said Edwards.
Retain the 9 was given its name in hopes of visualizing how real this issue is. The “9” represents the original 9.9 percent of students on campus who are African American.
Since then, the title has grown to mean much more.
“Organizers including the Student Government Association wisely sought to expand the initiative to cover all underrepresented minorities at Wright State, including international students,” said Edwards.
Kevin Jones, Wright State’s Student Government director of Diversity and Inclusion, expressed the need to get students academically involved on campus; they were already socially involved with regular fellowship, but not as much in an educational way.
Student success is a large focus for the Retain the 9 movement.
“Retain the 9 is becoming a model of success statewide,” said Jones. “Ohio Student Government Association, the Ohio Department of Higher Education and Higher Learning Advocates in Washington D.C. have all recognized Retain the 9 and what it stands for.”
Retain the 9 has big plans to get new students involved: a retention resource fair is underway with plans for all-around student success. The class of 2023 is very involved and has extreme potential for growth and success.
“We know where we came from, but we also know where we are going,” said Jones.
“I’m proud to be a part of the Retain the 9 task which is composed of students, faculty, administrators and community members because we all play a valuable role in strengthening diversity of thought on campus, which is truly one of our greatest strengths,” said Edwards.
The organization wants to be the forefront of retention and success for universities across the country.
Retain the 9 adds to the university’s Raider Pride that thrives from diversity.