As a new school year approaches this means a lot of heavy lifting for new students entering the world of college, but before incoming freshman can start classes it is time for Welcome Week.
Welcome Week is five days of events to help new students become adjusted to their new campus. One of the events scheduled on Friday September 1st was Diversity training put on by the Student Government Association. This is the event’s second year on campus, it began last year when it was initiated by SGA’s Inclusivity Director, Ta Xiong. This year it was taken over by Angela Stahl, senior English major and current Inclusivity Director for SGA.
The training included an introduction by Stahl to the new Director of Diversity and College Access, Lizette Rivera. After the introduction, Stahl talked about micro aggressions and put students through an interactive exercise in emphatic listening.
These activities are vital for cultivating an awareness in incoming students who may have never been exposed to these concepts before. The cultivation of this awareness will help students acknowledge prejudices that they may express
unintentionally in the form of micro aggressions.
Stahl is both realistic and optimistic about the effects diversity training will have on campus. She said she hopes the training will “plant seeds for students to know where to look for support and advice if they come across an issue. Also to encourage students to continue an education in the specific topic because there is no way a full training in diversity or cultural competency can happen in one hour to 1,000 people.”
Stahl added that diversity training is no more relevant now than it has been in the past, the dawn of Trump’s presidency and the white supremacist riots in Charlottesville, only worked to bring already existing issues into the public eye. “I believe the diversity and inclusivity training is just as important now as it has ever been, I do believe it is relevant now in the public sphere than it has in past years, however I think the need is just as high as it has ever been” Stahl said.
Stahl had added that any students interested in topics such as diversity, should visit the student government office located in the basement of the DUC.