Registration Closing for Central UNITY Conference
Registration ends Feb. 1 for students interested in attending the Office of Diversity and Inclusion’s Central UNITY conference in Anadarko.
(Provided/ ODI Central UNITY).
The registration deadline will end on Feb. 1 for students wanting to attend the Office of Diversity and Inclusion’s Central UNITY conference in Anadarko.
On Feb. 10-11, ODI will bring 40 students from UCO to a free, two-day overnight retreat that is intended to promote diversity and build awareness of cultural competence, Andy Reza, coordinator at ODI said.
Students will leave UCO on Friday, Feb. 10 at noon for the Oakridge Christian Camp and Retreat Center in Anadarko and will return around 11:30 p.m. on Feb. 11.
There will also be five faculty facilitators for the program, Reza said.
The goal of Central Unity is for students to gain a stronger awareness and build upon their cultural competence… https://t.co/nPmOIu3RpK
— UCO ODI (@UCOODI) January 17, 2017
The Office of Diversity and Inclusion has been planning the conference since last semester and is hoping to continue it in the future.
“The idea behind Central UNITY, has been something that we have been working on for about a semester. Our goal is to have a place where students can build tools to come back to campus and be able to facilitate and discuss difficult conversations,” Reza said.
Goals for students who participate in Central UNITY include practicing self-reflection, getting a better understanding of others, cultivating empathy and establishing a sense of community.
Some of the events of the program will include ice-breakers, working on the power of reflection and its benefits and alsolearning about triggers for individuals.
Reza also said that the program will do something similar to “Dining in the Dark” where individuals can have conversations without the possibility of the prejudice that sometimes happens based on appearances.
“We feel like when you go somewhere else and you are with a group of students, when the students are together the entire time, then they have an opportunity to establish a rapport and build relationships that can help bring about more raw and intimate vulnerability,” Reza said.
Cash Dietz, UCO’s student association president, issued a statement on Jan. 23 which encouraged students to attend Central UNITY. The statement also thanked the Office of Diversity and Inclusion for their hard work on offering programs that promote diversity and understanding.
— UCOSA (@UCOSANews) January 24, 2017
For Dietz, the biggest reason for students to attend the conference is for them to educate themselves about other people and to build social intelligence. Dietz also said that the skills students will develop at Central UNITY could improve their professional careers.
“I think that the University of Central Oklahoma has really stood and stands on being there for its students and I believe that many of the students here have stood for the same thing,” Dietz said.
The conference is also tagged by the Student Transformative Learning Record for students to obtain points for their transcripts.
For more information about registering for Central UNITY or other events visit ODI’s website at www.uco.edu/diversity or call 405-974-3588.