Student Diversity and Inclusion Services (SDIS) has announced a new programming model for 2016-17, opening the door to new collaborations with departments, faculty and organizations on campus.

In previous years SDIS focused on providing programming within the various cultural heritage celebration months. According to Jessica Gjerde, SDIS education program director, the previous model limited the ability¬† to bring in diverse speakers and events throughout the year. “In February, we would only have programs related to Black History Month, for example,” Gjerde said. “With our new model, we have more flexibility if we want to bring a speaker on Native American heritage or someone from the LGBTQ community without being confined to a specific heritage month celebration.”

While the programming model has shifted, the office will continue to celebrate national heritage months. “Our hope is that others will join us in the celebration and contribute their own programs or events to include on our heritage month posters,” Gjerde said. Departments hosting events to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month (Sept. 15-Oct. 15), may submit them to studentdiversity@stthomas.edu by Friday, Sept. 9, to be included in the SDIS promotional poster.

In addition, SDIS, the Office for International Students and Scholars, and Campus Life are announcing the formation of the new Diversity Activities Board (DAB). DAB is a group of student leaders responsible for bringing educational programs focused on diversity and inclusion. They are allocated 20 percent of the student activity fee to plan programs such as lectures, music, workshops, community building, cultural celebrations and various other social justice events.

Both SDIS and DAB have a number of events scheduled during fall semester. See each of organization’s event calendars online: SDIS event calendar, DAB event calendar.

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