Following the EUCSA 2021-2022 board election debates, along with the general election period of both SAAC and EUCSA, we believe it is a good time to share some of our thoughts regarding inclusivity and diversity within our association, as both QueerCo and BlackCo have been mentioned frequently during this election period.
We have noticed that a common theme for most candidate campaigns this year was ‘inclusivity’ and ‘diversity’. We appreciate the acknowledgement of these terms and the willingness to discuss them within EUCSA. However, it is important to highlight what these terms really mean in practice, and be committed to taking the necessary steps for our community to become more inclusive and diverse (not just on paper). The mere existence of Queer Co and Black Co as committees does not mean that this has been accomplished, there is still more work to be done. Our voices as committees vouching for diversity and inclusivity need to be integrated into the broader narrative. It is more sincere and productive if we are not just mentioned in passing, but included in the conversation. It is not just ours, but the whole association’s responsibility, starting with the board, to create safer spaces within EUCSA. This starts with actively engaging with our committees and listening to our thoughts and advice. The inclusivity document is a step in the right direction, and we hope that the points outlined in it can serve as a guide when it comes to matters of inclusivity and diversity. All committee and board members should be aware of what it means to make a space feel safe(r) for everyone. Only when this understanding is present, can our community become truly inclusive.
Moving forward, we hope to see more engagement and communication. With this we mean:
Providing spaces where the voices of women, queer and BIPOC students are amplified and heard by the entire community, not just by those that are naturally interested.
Facilitation of platforms already working to improve diversity and inclusivity.
Promotion of these platforms within EUCSA and to prospective members of EUCSA.
Consideration of our advice in matters pertaining to inclusivity and diversity.
We value the potential our community has for change, and hope that we were able to get our point across. We see the introduction week of 2021 as a possible starting point for the cooperation between the EUCSA board and QueerCo and BlackCo to start working towards a truly inclusive community.
-Queer Co(llective) & Black Co