Friday Features - Dec. 8, 2017
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#YouAreWelcomeHere campaign expands
The University of Wisconsin-Platteville International Programs Office has expanded its #YouAreWelcomeHere campaign by offering the #YouAreWelcomeHere decal to UW-Platteville students, faculty, staff and community members.
The #YouAreWelcomeHere campaign is a nationwide initiative of U.S. higher education institutions offering a message of welcome to international students around the world. It is a campaign designed to affirm a shared commitment to provide a diverse, supportive and safe environment to all students.
“It’s important that UW-Platteville is part of the #YouAreWelcomeHere campaign, because it not only sends a powerful visual message to international students that they are welcome on our campus, but also challenges all of our campus community members to ask themselves, ‘What am I doing to make our campus welcoming? What can I do better to help all students feel valued and included?’” Liz Kruse, assistant director of International Programs, said. “Participating in the #YouAreWelcomeHere campaign is one way in which UW-Platteville reaffirms its mission to help students become knowledgeable citizens in a diverse global community.”
Each year, approximately 140 international students from an average of 24 countries attend UW-Platteville. This campaign affirms that UW-Platteville supports these students and serves as a safe space.
The decal is not only a sign of support and encouragement of the international students on campus, but a call to action. Those who display the decal are demonstrating a commitment to actively supporting the cultivation of an inclusive campus community.
Each decal also features a statement of commitment that includes additional actions that can be taken to get involved. Concrete actions that can be taken to live out the statement include taking time to get to know the international students on campus, using social media to promote the #YouAreWelcomeHere decal and video, studying abroad, and seeking out training, professional development or education opportunities in the area of intercultural communication.
“We hope that the #YouAreWelcomeHere campaign serves as a catalyst for positive change by encouraging people to be open to learning from and having conversations with culturally different others, and to ask themselves how they personally and/or professionally can create a more inclusive campus climate at UW-Platteville,” Kruse said.
Laminated copies of the #YouAreWelcomeHere decal are available at the International Programs Office front desk in Royce Hall between 8 a.m.-4 p.m. on weekdays. Those who are interested can also print out their own decal online.
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