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Inclusion Experience aims to break down barriers

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By Gabe Hewitt/[email protected]
Media Editor

In an effort to break down barriers, the Inclusion Experience: Everyone Has a Story is an event that intends to engage conversation on identity and culture. The student-planned event is going to be held on Nov. 7, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. in the Multipurpose Room.

The daylong event will focus on three goals:

  • Achieving a better understanding of each other and communities
  • Achieving better connectivity and unity amongst the student community
  • Helping attendees find their own power and further developing their leadership skills.

Students will be participating in numerous activities amongst groups that are co-facilitated by a student and an MCTC faculty member.

The inspiration for the event came from several outlets. Student Life Director Tara Martinez participated in an event with a previous employer that had similar goals and she’s taken MCTC students to conferences where breaking cultural barriers is the sought outcome. Martinez and other students wanted to bring the experience to MCTC’s campus.

“I’ve always thought what an amazing experience it would be to meet different people in our community,” Martinez said.

The event’s planning began last summer when Martinez reached out to a handful of students and asked for their assistance. The planning soon became mostly student-led. One of the students closely involved is Student Senate President Ah-Nung Matrious.

“Students have problems interacting with each other,” she said. “This inclusion experience is all about finding ways to relate to each other and not feel alone.”

Matrious described a situation in one of her classes where she and a classmate felt profiled by their peers and that affected a group assignment. She wants this event to help others understand other cultures.

One of the planned activities, an icebreaker called “Please Join Me in the Circle”, involves participants asking each other to join them in a circle if they share the trait that they announce. It’s intended to identify similarities in students that they didn’t think they would share with others in their group. Getting students involved with each other like this is what student and co-facilitator Michael Elliot likes to see.

“This is going to be a community-building experience,” he said. “I want to eliminate the idea of students punching in, like school is a job, and more like a community.”

Students participating in the event will be given a free t-shirt and Dunn Bros. coffee and muffins will be available. Those interested in attending can RSVP at the Student Life Information Desk on the second floor.

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Inclusion Experience aims to break down barriers