Equity and inclusion are seen as important factors on campus
An Equity and Inclusion Fair was held here at North Dakota State on Oct. 22 from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. The booths at the fair consisted of various departments on campus that shared their roles in providing inclusion and equity to all students.
One of the many booths at the fair included the NDSU Sexual Assault Prevention & Advocacy Office, who provided information on the availability of the resources they have to assist students going through issues relating to it.
The Graduate School was present to give some insight into their inclusion and equity work through their assistance to international students.
There was even the NDSU Equity office themselves who gave background information on their work involved in resolving complaints about students and staff.
Later in the fair, Lindsey Pouliot of Student Government was asked to explain the work their office does for equity and inclusion.
Some of the Student Government’s accomplishments include working with a local Lutheran church to provide a place where Muslim students can pray and keep their prayer mats along with providing 15 sets of cap and gowns for students to borrow who cannot afford to pay.
Student Government is also working to establish a veteran’s resource center on campus. Pouliot hopes to have something by the end of the year in regards to the resource center.
Further financial issues they hope to alleviate include plans to implement a calculator rental program and Open Educational Resources (OER) which are low or no cost textbooks.
Pouliot sees the OERs as more of a gradual process, “I think we can really hit the Humanities this year,” Pouliot said, since it is difficult for STEM classes to change their curriculum to match the textbook.
When it comes to things in the public domain, Pouliot gave the example that when students need Frankenstein for an English class, OERs should be a reasonable implementation saying, “If we just take a closer look at how we can help faculty understand why it’s such a big burden to students.”
The organizer of the event, Creighton Brown, who is on staff as the Inclusive Excellence Initiatives Coordinator in the Office of the Vice Provost for Equity, was also asked to share his thoughts on the fair.
On the subject of inclusion and equity, Brown said, “I feel that it’s very important,” as he went on to describe how it will better the overall atmosphere of the campus.
“It helps from a retention standpoint, but may also help draw in prospective students to NDSU to add to our vibrant campus.”
When asked if he thinks that inclusion and equity are present at NDSU, Brown responded, “I do, one of the reasons we’re having this fair today is to highlight all of the different departments, academic departments, student organizations and the administrative units that are already doing this work.”
Brown used the Sexual Assault Prevention & Advocacy department as an example. Megan Talcott, the Sexual Assault Prevention and Advocacy Coordinator, represented the department’s work by having a booth at the fair.
By the end of the event, the fair fostered communication between departments and brainstormed new ways to address issues of all kinds related to equity.
One point of prominence that Brown stated is that, “Inclusion includes everyone.”