December 1, 2015 | By Elena Ross, IGR Student Engagement Team
This semester, the Student Engagement Team (SET) focused on several new and ongoing ways to both unite and strengthen the IGR community, and to bring IGR community members out of their prescribed roles.
Opening the IGR office space to more U-M students.
In collaboration with the CommonGround student workshop team, the SET coordinated three different open dialogues (which you can read about in the Michigan Daily):
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.
In addition to the open dialogues, we just held VERY successful study hours in the IGR office. Thank you to the 100+ students who came to this special end-of-semester event. We hope you enjoyed the food and being amongst other IGR folks while you prepared for finals.
Partnering outside of the IGR office in efforts to bond IGR students.
We hope that IGR students will see themselves as more than merely peers with shared interest. So, we created some fun and educational bonding opportunities as well.
- In November, we brought IGR students together to attend the Diversity Summit and hear the peer voices as they requested 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.
Extendeding Introductions to IGR's Social Media
We are currently enjoying sharing the voices of anyone and everyone in the IGR community, through our social media series called #thisisigr. In IGR, we always want to make time to celebrate individuals and their identities and stories. If you would like your story shared, feel free to stop by the office and speak with either Deepali Stark (deepali(at)umich.edu), Gloriela Iguin-Colon, or me.
How You Can Help Shape Our Work
Gloriela and I are very excited about the work SET has done to more deeply connect the IGR community, and we are excited to continue our efforts next semester! We also want to make sure you know that a primary focus of our team is to generate events that reflect the desires and needs of the community, including YOU. Feel free to contact us at any point to let us know what YOU would like to see as far as IGR community engagement.