This semester, the Student Engagement Team focused on opening up the physical IGR space to more students on campus. With the CommonGround programming team, we coordinated three different open dialogues, one revolving around gun safety, one about cultural appropriation in Halloween costumes, and one about anti-blackness and the events at the University of Missouri. We arranged these dialogues so that they would be topical - hosting each either before or after a major event relating to the dialogue's topic. Each of these dialogues succeeded at engaging students who are not directly involved with IGR this semester, but for whom dialogue holds an important role in their lives. These spaces allowed students to find a middle ground between overt activism and mere awareness, encouraging students to process social injustice together and think critically about the cycles of socialization that have gotten us where we are today. Our most recent dialogue focused on allyhood and action steps, while other dialogues focused more on the root sources of inequity.
IGR students are involved in so many different areas of the program- research, Summer Youth Dialogues, courses, and/or CommonGround. IGR's Student Engagement Team (SET) works to bring students with various types of involvement together as a community. This past semester, IGR has been partnering with other programs and departments within U-M to create programs that help accomplish this goal of creating a feeling of community. Below are some of the ways they've done so:
- In November, the SET brought IGR students together to attend the Diversity Summit and hear the voices of our peers as they request increased institutional diversity from the university administration.
- We also hosted a Feel Good Friday at Trotter Multicultural Center, where we celebrated the beginning of fall. Decorating cookies, playing games, and enjoying each other's company, this Feel Good Friday provided a space for IGR-affiliated students to just relax together. As part of this initiative to unite IGR students, we will be hosting another Feel Good Friday next week and will be opening up the IGR office for study hours on Sunday, December 14.
- We will also be posting weekly #thisisigr interviews on social media, introducing members of the IGR community to each other via the internet.
- This is a great opportunity to learn more about fellow IGR affiliates!
Overall, the SET is very excited about the work we've done to connect the community, and are excited to continue our efforts next semester! A primary focus of our team is to generate events that reflect the desires and needs of the community. Feel free to contact us at any point with suggestions!