Events further diversity awareness

Last week, UVM celebrated diversity all across campus.  

SGA and the Inter-Residence Association worked together to host Equity Week, an event to raise diversity awareness. 

“I think it was a huge success,” SGA President Connor Daley said.  

“SGA’s partnership with the Inter-Residence Association yielded one of the most thought-provoking and progressive conversations about issues of climate and equity on campus,” Daley said. 

The week was a collaborative effort by students to focus less on UVM’s traditional definition of diversity as race alone, he said.

“Diversity is really about power, privilege, class, race, ethnicity, gender and sex,” Daley said.

At least one event took place each day during the week, with two occurring on Tuesday.  All six of the events were held in the Davis Center.  

The events themselves ranged from seminars on the diversity courses offered at UVM to American cartoonist Alison Bechdel giving drawing lessons. 

There was also an event where students could decorate cookies.

“The events were successful in reaching a new portion of students,” said Joseph Oteng, Inter-Residence Association president.

The events aimed to help develop students’ thought processes in regard to the tough questions that are asked about power and privilege in society, Oteng said. 

Students should have learned how to continue important conversations about diversity by the time the week was over, he said. 

Both clubs are determined to play an active role in not only promoting self-examination, but also in providing opportunities for students to be educated in ways that they may not be in the classroom, Oteng said. 

“As the governing bodies, it is our duty to engage the student body to the best of our ability. Equity Week did just that,” he said. 

First-year Angelica Crespo was the chief planner of this event.

“Equity Week is a step toward ending micro-aggression and understanding privilege.” Crespo said. “Additionally Equity Week is a step forward to social justice.”

Junior Ashley Mitson was among the many students who attended events during Equity Week.  

Mitson said that she learned about the week’s events through the flyers posted around the Davis Center, and she decided to give it a chance.  

“I found it very interesting and rewarding,” she said.  “It opened up my eyes to other people’s opinions and made me aware of inclusion.”

Mitson said she felt the events that took place during Equity Week were well organized and recommended that students attend next year.