Diversity Week: a TU/e where everyone feels at home

October 1, 2021

From October 4 to 11 the TU/e Diversity Week takes place, with the theme 'Diversity in all perspectives' and with a broad program of workshops, lectures and live-events.

Croissant, fresh juice, but above all good conversations. Monday, October 4th, the TU/e Diversity Week will kick off with a communal breakfast in Atlas. Followed by a broad program of workshops, lectures and live events with the central theme 'Diversity in all perspectives'. Organizer and Student Diversity Officer Lara Hofstra hopes that students and employees are willing to embark on a journey to a TU/e where everyone feels at ease and at home.

After last year's first Diversity Week was forced to take place online due to corona measures, the start of this second edition this Monday will be extra festive. Lara Hofstra, organizer of the Diversity Week, invites everyone to take a seat at the communal breakfast table.

Students from various associations, internationals and employees who are committed to diversity and inclusiveness at the university will brainstorm how TU/e can be a safe place for everyone. President of the Executive Board Robert-Jan Smits and TU/e Secretary Suzanne van Weelden will also join the discussion to get to know the TU/e community.

"It doesn't matter who you are, where you come from or what your socio-economic status is: everyone should be able to feel at home at TU/e."

Getting to know each other is an important first step in understanding each other, says Hofstra. Since last year she has been working as a Student Diversity Officer and has set herself the goal that every student needs to feel seen and heard. "It doesn't matter who you are, where you come from or what your socioeconomic status is: everyone should be able to feel at home at TU/e," she says.

Lara Hofstra was appointed in June last year as the first Student Diversity Officer at TU/e. Photo: Bart van Overbeeke

Importance of associations

"Student associations are organizing more and more activities in the field of well-being, so I am very proud of the commitment and creativity of the new generation of students," Hofstra continues.

"Associations are very important, they play a role in social control and act as a safety net for students that encounter problems. But the real challenge is to reach the people who are not affiliated. The ones sitting in their rooms, all by themselves, without any friends to turn to. 

We also want to make these students feel like they are part of the TU/e community. TU/e is there for everyone."

Dare to ask

Bringing students and employees together, providing them with opportunities to meet each other in an accessible way, that’s what the TU/e Diversity Week is about. This year's theme is 'Diversity in all perspectives'. Hofstra hopes to encourage people to engage in conversation with people who are different.

"Dare to ask. The more you know about each other, the less discomfort and the more understanding." One of the activities that lends itself ideally to this is Live Books, on Tuesday evening, October 5th, in Atlas. Fifteen TU/e members will share their personal stories in a private, safe environment. Their subjects vary from eating disorders to transgender, addiction or depression.

Lectures, brainstorms, pub quiz and more

In addition, during the Diversity Week there are various lectures and brainstorms where everyone is challenged to think about how you can contribute to the ‘feeling of home’ and how to increase safety. If you want to get to work in a more practical way, women's network WISE will organize an Active Bystander Training at several moments to learn how to react adequately to undesired behavior.

On Monday October 11th the week will be wrapped up with a Coming-Out Breakfast (open to everyone), the raising of the rainbow flag and a Diversity pub quiz in the evening. 

Click here for more information about the TU/e Diversity Week program.

To participate in the Kick-off Breakfast or Coming-Out Breakfast, please register with Lara Hofstra (l.hofstra@tue.nl).

Barry van der Meer
(Head of Department)

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