Diversity Day at the UT: ‘Stronger marketing effort is needed’

| Mira Pohle

With today being Diversity Day, the UT is trying to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion by offering workshops and inviting students and staff to design new ‘Diversity of Twente’ letters. Four UT students share their thoughts on Diversity Day and its importance.

Anne Leijzer.
Anne Leijzer, 22, Technical Computer Science

‘The ‘Diversity of Twente’ sign will not lead anywhere on its own’

Anne Leijzer (22), a Technical Computer Science student was not aware that Diversity Day was on the agenda. ‘I saw that the UT changed the ‘University of Twente’ sign to ‘Diversity of Twente’ but didn’t know when exactly Diversity Day was coming up. I think a stronger marketing effort is needed to engage more students and staff in these types of events.’ When being asked about the value of Diversity Day, Leijzer mentions the importance of inclusion in the context of gender and sexuality. ‘I think there are many minorities, such as the LGBTQ community that can benefit from Diversity Day. That’s why the promotion should be improved. The ‘Diversity of Twente’ sign is a nice start but will not lead anywhere on its own.’

Yasin Fahmy, 21, Business Information Technology

‘Diversity Day is especially relevant for the UT’

Yasin Fahmy (21), a Business Information Technology student, believes that the University of Twente constitutes an adequate foundation for celebrating diversity. ‘There are many people from many backgrounds on the UT campus, which makes Diversity Day even more relevant. As an international student myself I know that Diversity Day reflects the very essence of the UT experience. It’s a reminder that regardless of our backgrounds, we share a common purpose as students and staff in our academic pursuits. Still, I think the UT could have done a better job at promoting this day, maybe by using different media channels.’

Eline Peters, 22, Technical Computer Science

‘It can be difficult to keep track’

Eline Peters (22), a Technical Computer Science student, feels as if there might be an overwhelming variety of days like Diversity Day. ‘There is an abundance of awareness days, which makes it difficult to keep track. This can dilute their meaning and importance. I, for example, knew that Diversity Day exists, but was not informed about its specific date or purpose.’ Still, Peters believes that Diversity Day has its individual added value. ‘Diversity Day and everything it entails, such as the ‘Diversity of Twente’ sign can raise awareness by making people stop and think, fostering a sense of inclusion. The UT has a large network and can reach many people, but I also think that individuals should take more initiative to seek out information themselves.’

Chris Rikmanspoel, 22, Digital Marketing

‘It can create a space of acceptance and safety’

Chris Rikmanspoel (22), a Digital Marketing student, believes that Diversity Day is a great opportunity to create a feeling of inclusion. ‘In my own circle, I haven’t personally felt the need for more diversity since I’ve been fortunate enough not to experience isolation or exclusion. I do recognise the value it might bring to others though. Diversity can create an environment of safety for those that need it, whether it’s related to gender, sexuality, or race. I appreciate that the UT is involved in promoting diversity without imposing it on anyone.’

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