Diversity week returns to DCU

One of the many workshops held as part of Diversity Week

DCU SU’s Diversity week was held last week and focused on giving equal representation to all students with regards to their collective identity from a cultural, religious and sexual orientation perspective.

The week was held in the hope to encourage all DCU students to embrace and respect each other’s individuality.

Welfare and Equality Officer, Cody Byrne, stressed the importance of holding such a week, particularly at a time when white supremacist, Islamaphobic and homophobic groups such as the ‘Alternative-Right’ have begun to receive a political voice across the globe.

“It’s sad that this is getting a political voice and is being represented in our global community but that’s why it’s important to have weeks such as this,” Byrne said.

As part of promotion for the week, black and white mug shot posters were on display on both campuses with each picturing a different student holding up their own unique identity. One trans-gender student who took part said what it means to know that DCU accepts him for who he is.

“Knowing that the SU has done everything in its power to make my four years at DCU as safe and comfortable as possible for me has been really amazing and made my college experience so wonderful. I think it really sends a message that DCU can be a home to you, no matter who you are,” Benji Foley, final year Applied Languages and Translation Studies student said.

Cody also said that they intended to tackle the issue of stereotyping by encouraging student engagement throughout both the Glasnevin and St. Patrick’s Campus.

“The problem is we rely on these stereotypes which may prevent us from establishing relationships with others. We’re hoping to challenge stereotypes and acknowledge head on the fact that prejudice reduces contact and that contact reduces prejudice.”

The week also consisted of a number of preorganised events, one of which was supposed to be a mock wedding between DCU and NUI Maynooth. This was cancelled, however, after a Maynooth student was attacked and severely injured last week.

Rachael Kellegher

Image Credit: Conor O’Doherty

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