The Associated Students of Madison Diversity Committee started planning for Diversity Week, a campus-wide event to take place next semester, in a meeting Monday.
Diversity Week is scheduled to occur during the week of April 15 and will feature the themes of religion, sexuality, multicultural appreciation, disability and gender.
Diversity Committee Chair Mia Akers said this is the first time the committee is doing something like this. She said this will be the first time the committee will organize a diversity week and added she hopes this will turn into something they can repeat for years to come.
“I think it’s our first attempt to try to engage the larger campus community in the ideas that we believe so strongly about,” Akers said.
She said their goal is to make the week about understanding and awareness of different cultures and identities.
Akers said the committee often struggles with how to engage the larger campus in diversity-related issues. She said through trial and error, the group will try to find more ways to involve more people from those already interested in diversity related topics.
Leading up to the week in April, Akers said the first step is to create a list of items that the committee will act on. She said they will reach out to student organizations and other campus leaders to engage their cooperation with the committee in planning for the week.
Akers said the week is meant to engage everyone, adding those interested do not have to be a minority or feel underrepresented on campus.
“This is really trying to probe peoples’ minds about how all of us are diverse,” Akers said. “It’s open for all students, and we really want all students to participate.”
ASM Press Office Assistant Director Courtney Jackson said with Diversity Week, Diversity Committee hopes to bring together all of the university.
Throughout the week, Jackson said the committee hopes students involved will experience the opportunity to get to know each other through similarities and differences.
“I think the biggest thing is that it is able to bring together all of the university,” Jackson said. “This event is run by ASM obviously for students, but it’s so that all students can come together and notice differences and share those differences, but also notice similarities that they may not notice before.”
Jackson said she felt impressed the committee has taken on this initiative because she said it is a great opportunity for everyone to get involved.
She also said she thinks the week will be extremely successful because of how well they can market it and reach out to students. She added the week will secure a lot of prestige with speakers and events they hold.
ASM intern and Diversity Committee member Victoria Atkinson said she thinks people can unite over the fact that they are different, and it is peoples’ differences that are so important.
Atkinson said she hopes to make people more aware of diversity on campus and show that everyone is diverse and can unite over their differences.
“My personal goal with this is to break diversity on campus,” Atkinson said.