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Davis, California

Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Beyond Tolerance works to eliminate discrimination on campus

Beyond Tolerance is a campus program that provides support and resources for various campus clubs and organizations to promote knowledge and respect of the many diverse cultures that exist in our community. The program is sponsored by the Center for Student Involvement (CSI) in partnership with the Office of Campus Community Relations.

A few of the organizations on campus that have utilized the resources offered by Beyond Tolerance include the Black Student Union, Non-Monosexual Alliance and the Youth Empowerment Program.

On the subject of her role in the program, Lori Fuller, program coordinator for Beyond Tolerance, said that the program fosters leadership development for students and student organizations.

According to Fuller, one of the most important parts of her job is helping students through those processes of event planning.

When a student club or organization wants to hold an event on campus to raise awareness about who they are and what they do to promote diversity, they contact Fuller, and she provides them with the space and equipment needed to organize their event.

“All of the student centers provide community, space and events for students and student groups to learn, grow, find comfort, make connections and get involved in issues on or off-campus,” said Lane Lewis, Campus Climate and Community outreach coordinator for the Cross Cultural Center in an email interview.

As an active member in student organizations that promote diversity, Lewis said that such events play an important role in getting clubs’ messages out to the public.

“It is important for campus clubs and organizations that support diversity to have a resource that helps them put on events … The campus needs more representation, visibility, space for diverse communities, issues, voices, ideas, etc.,” Lewis said.

Beyond Tolerance recognizes the importance of putting on these campus events and works to help clubs and organizations with the most difficult part of this process: finding a space to hold the event and the money to buy or rent equipment for production.

CSI, in partnership with the Office of Campus and Community Relations, helps to fund programs that support student activities which aim to educate the community about diversity.

One example is the Diversity Training Program. Initiated in 2006, the Diversity Trainers Institute, which consists of a volunteer staff, provides a variety of workshops on campus to promote learning about diversity.

Dr. Rahim Reed, associate executive vice chancellor of the Office of Campus Community Relations, said that the Diversity Trainers Institute was created to pay attention to those aspects of our campus that deal with issues of diversity.

“[The program is] important because the faculty, staff and students … come from all parts of the country and all around the world. We want to be able to manage the diversity that we have as an asset, to make something that stimulates creative thought,” Reed said.

As with Beyond Tolerance, the Diversity Training Institute works to emphasize the positive attributes of a diverse campus such as UC Davis, while educating the community about existing diverse cultures.

Both Fuller and Reed agree that one of the most important ways to eliminate discrimination in the daily lives of students is to communicate.

Any student clubs and organizations that wish to utilize the resources offered by Beyond Tolerance can contact Lori Fuller at ljfuller@ucdavis.edu.

JESSICA GRILLI can be reached at campus@theaggie.org. 


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