By Tsveta Mileva
In the Warden’s team we always ask ourselves at the beginning of the year - what does it mean to have a diverse but inclusive and accepting community in IH? And what can we do to make it accessible, positive and truly enriching experience for each person individually?
Looking back to my own experience of moving in halls for the first time, long before I became a Resident Assistant, I met a lot of people for the first time who were very unlike me. This was my first real life challenge getting way outside my comfort zone and interacting opinions and personalities which were very different from mine. The one thing that was reinforced for me back then is hardly a secret, but it works every time – RESPECT! I found in practice what I have been taught in theory - when you approach people with genuine curiosity, lack of judgement and respect they instinctively tend to relate and trust you even if you disagree and this is where a real relationship is formed.
We are devoting this week in IH to Diversity and Inclusivity. The melting pot of different socio-economic backgrounds, races, religions, nationalities, levels of (dis)ability, ages, experiences, personalities that IH is creates a small micro-universe very much like the big universe out there. And we would like for everyone to have the feeling that IH is more than a room for them – it is a community and a home.
Sometimes it’s really easy to make those statements but very hard to know what to actually do to make it a reality. So we have put together a series of events aimed at having a constructive and useful conversation around how we can create an inclusive IH community.
We invite you to piece the puzzle together with us!