How to pen more inclusive student ideas

The first idea is simple — if you don’t come from a minority experience NEVER presume to know their struggles. Even if you find yourself gaining friends who are from underrepresented populations, it is essential to continue a habit of non-assuming.

If you lack friends from the people groups you wish to ally yourself with, then use research papers to gain an informed view of WHY you should care. The key here is to use primary research and credible sources at the same time.

DO NOT invite yourself to these spaces if they do exist on your campus or in your community. Self-identified allies are met with a lot of scrutiny when they come into these spaces and are often rejected because they weren’t invited to the conversation. And most surely, an ally should not reject an idea of autonomy and self-reliance for someone else while claiming to those two things personally.

DO NOT network in a confrontational way. A social mixer or a classroom is the place to make relevant connections with your classmates. Creating a friendly atmosphere around general conversations can potentially lead to more discussions of a more serious nature. Places NOT to network, is the hallway of my dorm (because if it turns into an awkward situation or worse, I have to live with you), the Quad (who talks to strangers in the quad?!!), and just after I come off the stage.

DO be ready for rejection based on YOUR mood, YOUR looks, YOUR vibes. We are all human and a good leader would be cautious in their next interaction with someone who turns them off. It will be hard to make friends with people if you approach issues the wrong way with them, but you shouldn’t be personally offended.

DO take responsibility for your actions. If you know your behavior is non-inclusive or that it is ignorant, it is up to you to fix it. It is never going to be (and it never has been), the job of an under-represented community to correct your self-apparent mistakes.


Written by:

Camille is a Mechanical Engineering student sharing about her personal relationships and experiences working in the tech field as a woman of color.

Be First to Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *