Durham College’s Office of Student Diversity, Inclusion and Transitions has been busy reaching out to the campus community and creating awareness through recent events and workshops, with more to come in the future.
Jordan Tan is a Music Business Management student as well as an organizer of the Durham College LGBTQ+ Network, the college’s LGBTQ+ group on campus. He is also a team member at the office. He has organized several workshops and events on campus including LGBTQ+ Mix and Mingle, and the recent Asexuality 101 workshop in March.
“It was a great turn out,” Tan said. He hopes students can use these workshops to learn skills outside of school. Tan later promoted drug safety with a Harm Reduction 101 workshop in March.
“Drug use is a pretty popular and hot topic among youth right now, so it’s a great skill to learn how you can reduce harm during special circumstances,” he said.
The workshop was presented with the AIDS Committee of Durham Region and aimed to explore the safer use of alcohol and drugs common at parties, and ways to reduce harm caused by these substances.
Another member of the team, Shauna Moore, the first-generation student coordinator for the office, says her team is celebrating diversity and promoting inclusion for all groups.
According to Moore, the office plans to extend its reach by creating a stronger presence in The Pit, as well as by holding more events to raise awareness of diversity issues.
She said this initiative has already generated a positive outcome for her team, creating more traffic since as early as January of this year.
“More traffic and more awareness, people are more aware of us,” she said.
Members of her team have also been asked to give presentations outside the campus in the community.
Their outreach is growing larger with their most recent cultural event. On March 8, as part of International Women’s Day and Women’s History Month, Moore’s team held an event in The Pit, encouraging students to talk about what feminism meant to them. More than 180 students participated in the event.
Apart from events, the office also offers multiple services for students including information and referral services, advocacy and support, and harassment and discrimination investigations. It also offers training and education services for classes.
The education services involve members of the team going out to classrooms and groups, to talk about diversity issues with them.
“I’ve gone out to a couple of different classes and talked to them about what we do and about the whole inclusion piece,” said Moore.
The office has also been working with a new health promotions initiative. The coordinator of this initiative is Heather Bickle, a wellness coach here at the school.
According to Bickle, health promotions is a new area on campus that wants to help students become empowered to make educational health decisions, keeping them happy and healthy. Her office is in C111 in the Gordon Willey Building.
Moore wants students to stop by the office if they have any questions. “We love to see to people and say ‘Hey, this is what we’re doing,’” she said.
The Office of Student Diversity, Inclusion and Transitions is located in the Student Services Building in SSB 120.