Valuing diversity means acknowledging the benefits and intrinsic worth of difference within our community, and fostering it as a strength. ENSA aims to celebrate and value the differences between individuals’ cultural, social and intellectual contribution to the University and will seek to promote greater mutual understanding between groups and individuals who reflect these differences.
Equal treatment involves much more than simply treating everyone alike; it requires recognition that some groups and individuals have particular and specific needs that need to be met if they are to enjoy equal access to the services offered by the University and ENSA.
Inclusion means designing the structure and implementation of activities and services so as to make all students feel part of ENSA and entitled to use its resources and participate in its activities.
Putting diversity, equality and inclusion into practice
Societies can do a lot to foster diversity, equality and inclusion. Sometimes this can be as simple as reaching out to a specific demographic that may be under-represented in the Society, but might also involve developing longstanding practices in how your Society operates, or perhaps making simple changes to the way you hold meetings.
The examples given below are neither prescriptive nor exhaustive, but might give you some ideas.
- Hold meetings in a venue that is accessible to wheelchair users or those less able to use stairs, and likewise make sure there is a wheelchair accessible toilet there.
- Vary the times and days of your meetings to make sure people with caring or job responsibilities can come.
- Have a variety of alcohol free events or meet-ups.
- Ensure publicity and web content is welcoming to new members – avoid jargon, make it clear if new members are expected to have specific equipment or experience. Offer to meet up with a new person before the meeting so it’s not so intimidating.
- Design publicity in a different language to appeal to international students.
- Break down assumptions about the type of person who takes part in the Society and get members to act as ambassadors to non-members.
- Promote events to different groups to get the message across that the doors are always open to new members.
- Listen to suggestions that challenge the current status quo, and genuinely engage with members who bring new ideas to the table.