Diversity training looks to expand

Jun 27, 2002, vol. 24, no. 5
By Howard Fluxgold

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A year after first offering a program of diversity workshops to the SFU community, SFU international is looking to expand its offerings.

A survey of the 120 participants in the 11 workshops conducted so far revealed a desire for additional training. “The feedback we got indicated that participants were interested in acquiring tools to deal with issues that arise from diversity,” says Thevi Pather (left), associate director of SFU international, formerly international and exchange student services.

“People are now interested in tackling case studies, or looking at situations that may arise or have arisen in their workplace and how to deal with those kinds of situations.”

The initial series of workshops, offered through the learning and instructional development centre, were lead by SFU faculty and staff who were trained by the Hastings Institute, a city of Vancouver-based organization that specializes in equity and diversity training.

The workshops were established, says Pather, “to create an awareness around issues of increasing diversity on campus in terms of abilities and disabilities and gender issues, sexual orientation; the changing demographic in terms of age and the changing face of the student body because of immigration trends.”

Now, SFU international is looking for ways to meet the demand for new workshops: “We are looking at working with other people on campus who have skills and knowledge to offer enhanced workshops that focus on specific case studies,” Pather notes.

The next workshops are scheduled for Oct. 8 and Nov. 7 and are open to faculty, staff and students. For more information phone: 604-268-6618.

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