UDiversity, a campaign aiming to highlight the diversity of students, faculty and staff, is branching out into social media to showcase the many faces of Binghamton University.
Tanyah Barnes, diversity fellow of the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (ODEI), said that the campaign is meant to encourage inclusivity and kick-start a dialogue about diversity around campus. The program was designed by the ODEI and students working through President Harvey Stenger’s Road Map to Success.
UDiversity began as a poster campaign but recently went digital. Students and faculty can now use the #UDiversity hashtag in social media posts to highlight experiences with diversity on campus.
“The big goal is to show people that there is a little bit more diversity than you might think,” said Alexandra Moehring, a member of the Road Map team and a junior majoring in English.
One component of the UDiversity campaign puts a spotlight on individual students, faculty and staff who feel they embody or add to the school’s diversity. By submitting profiles and information through B-Line, students can be featured on the ODEI’s website and on posters that will be displayed around campus.
“It’s not to push an agenda or anything, just to have people more aware and gain a better understanding [of diversity],” Moehring said.
Going beyond the standard categories of race, religion and sexual orientation, Moehring said that UDiversity coordinators aim to create a spotlight for people to express any unique aspects of themselves.
“One of the submissions we’ve gotten is a girl has lived in 28 countries in her life so far,” Moehring said.
The UDiversity campaign is also hosting a two-day workshop in early November focused on fostering inclusive and tolerant classroom environments. Meanwhile, the ODEI plans to reach out to classrooms to encourage more open discussions and projects about diversity, collaborate with undergraduate admissions with UDiversity videos and host a selfie contest over homecoming weekend.
“You can do an ‘I Am University’ selfie and explain how you add to the diversity of Binghamton,” Barnes said. “Then we’re going to pick a few of them and be giving out prizes while sharing them.”
Barnes said she hopes the campaign will help people connect to and be proud of the diversity and inclusivity on campus.
“I want people to own it,” Barnes said. “To get more students, more faculty, more staff to own how they contribute to that diversity on campus.”