The ASVA Student Union as a union stands up for interests of all students in Amsterdam and diversity and inclusion are an important part of that task. Diversity and inclusion play a role in all layers of the student life in Amsterdam. Wether it is about your education, your housing, public transport or your social life – it is important that it is at any time accessible and safe to live and study. Diversity and inclusion are not functionally, but intrinsically important for an equal society.
To understand the concepts ‘diversity’ and ‘inclusion’ in a proper way, ASVA uses the definition of the Queensborough Community College and the report ‘Let’s do Diversity’ from the Diversity commission of the University of Amsterdam from 2016.
Currently, neither the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences (AUAS) and the University of Amsterdam (UvA) are a representation of the diversity of Amsterdam when it comes to their student population and employees. Also, the curricula often contain colonial use of language, a Eurocentric view of the world and the literature treated is largely written by white men. That must change.
ASVA as an organisation
ASVA stands up for all students of Amsterdam and it is a goal for ASVA internally to be a representation of all those students. ASVA has the responsibility to look at itself in a critical manner, to improve itself. ASVA also often joins the conversation in discussions about diversity and inclusion. At the start of 2020, a vision (this document is in Dutch) around diversity and inclusion was set up by the diversity commission which was agreed on by the general assembly. The policy document gives substance to future actions on both internal and external basis. Justice is central to the vision.
Do you have questions about this vision document? Are you member of a student organisation and would you like to make a similar document for your organisation? Please contact email@example.com.
A large and important part of diversity and inclusion is social safety. Information about confidential advisors is not properly being made knowable to students and reports of social unsafety are often not taken seriously. Both AUAS and UvA have web pages about confidential advisors and social safety, but a lot of information is unreachable. A big problem is that in most cases it is impossible to report anonymously.
At this moment ASVA is working on a policy around social safety, in which it will be put on paper that there is no room for transgressive behavior and what the course of events is when social unsafety occurs. Do you have questions about this? Or are you member of a student organisation and would you like to make a similar document for your organisation? Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
What can you do?
There are many ways in which you can contribute to diversity and inclusion. First of all, it is very important to read about racism, diversity and inclusion. Follow ASVA on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter to stay informed about petitions, events and demonstrations.
Besides ASVA there are multiple other organisations that commit to diversity in the student life of Amsterdam. Take a look on their websites or social media and go to one of their meetings.
Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences
University of Amsterdam
- Diversity Forum
- University of Colour
- Humanities Rally
- Rethink UvA
- De Nieuwe Universiteit
- Amsterdam United
Students with a disability
Information for student organisations
Are you on a board or commission of a student organisation? Always try to take diversity and inclusion into account to keep your organisation as accessible as possible. Have you thought about the following things?
- Does your organisation have a confidential advisor (an appointed person people in your organisation can turn to with their problems in confidentiality)? What is the procedure when someone wants to mention social unsafety inside the organisation?
- Do you keep your eye on diversity and inclusion with the recruiting of new (board) members? Does your organisation use multiple social media platforms to reach as many different people as possible?
- Is your office accessible for students with a disability? If the answer is ‘no’, would you be able to talk about this with your educational institution? And have you thought about the fact that events on external locations are not always accessible for students with a disability?
- Events that take place late in the evening and/or in which alcohol plays an important role are not accessible for everyone. Do you also organise events during the day? And do you make sure there are always alcohol free drinks as well?
- Are the events you organise financially accessible for everyone? Is it possible to pay in terms for more expensive events or trips?
- If you organise an event that serves food, will diet wishes or allergies be taken into account?
- Did you know that organisations like Our Bodies Our Voice give training sessions, for example about implicit bias, to (members of) student organisations?
Are you looking for more information about diversity and inclusion? Or do you want to contribute to diversity and inclusion in the Amsterdam student life? Send an email to email@example.com.