Declaration of Equity helps study associations promote diversity and inclusion
Many study associations at Leiden University and University of Applied Sciences Leiden are working on diversity and inclusion. But as it’s such a big thing, it’s difficult to decide what exactly to do as an association. The Declaration of Equity will help.
How do you provide access to a confidential counsellor as a study association? How do you ensure activities are accessible to all? What do you do if there is unacceptable behaviour within your association? And where can you turn for help at the University and University of Applied Sciences? The Declaration of Equity offers tips.
The Declaration of Equity was drawn up by representatives of the Leiden assessors, the Leiden study associations, University of Applied Sciences Leiden and Study Associations Consultation Platform (StOP). Former internal commissioner at StOP Anne van Egmont was involved in drafting the document: ‘We held workgroups to find out what is most important to study associations when it comes to diversity. We got lots of questions about confidential counsellors, for example. What can you do if something goes wrong? And there were also lots of questions about how to make an association accessible to people with a physical disability, an allergy or a certain personal belief, for example.’
‘What we now have is a very good start but it’s important to keep on talking about it.’
Not a static document
There are 61 authorised study associations at the University and 11 at the University of Applied Sciences. The majority of these (51) have already signed the Declaration of Equity, and thus subscribe to the D&I values it describes. Ava Bauer, Student Assessor on the Board of the Faculty of Science: ‘The reactions were generally positive. But some associations have said they would have liked to have had more of a say in the process and have suggestions for changes or additions. But that’s great. We don’t want it to be a static document anyway. What we now have is a very good start but it’s important to keep on talking about it.’
Study associations still wanting to sign the Declaration of Equity can contact the Study Associations Consultation Platform.
Text: Dagmar Aarts
Banner photo: Celebrating the Declaration of Equity. Photo by Monique Shaw.