The University of Guelph Alumni Association (UGAA) is a long-standing partner of the University, sharing a vision for excellence in the student experience, and an approach to our work that embraces equity, diversity and inclusion. We are pleased to share an update on recent UGAA activities in these areas:
Supporting Student Wellness
The UGAA has a history of supporting students and campus life — gifts to support the Gryphons Athletics Centre, the iconic Gryphon statue, and the award-winning First-Year Seminar program, are just a few examples. Recently, the UGAA Board confirmed its support for two new initiatives. The first expands on an existing initiative that promotes student wellness through experiential learning and “forest bathing.” A pilot project in the fall of 2019 launched a spherical “walk-in” garden in the J.T. Powell Building. Feedback was overwhelmingly positive and UGAA funding will help create a more permanent wellness installation where Health Services, the Gymnasium and the Arena meet. This one-time $50,000-gift will establish the UGAA Green Space at Student Wellness.
Improving Student Experience
The second area of support is the UGAA Student Experience Grant which will help enrich clubs and groups, where like-minded students can explore their passions and build camaraderie. Student clubs span cultural and religious interests, sports and academics, the arts and community service, but too often incredible ideas and groups are limited by available funding. This $50,000-gift over three years, will establish an annual $2,000-grant for groups to improve the student experience on campus.
Equity, Diversity and Inclusion
The UGAA has launched an evaluation of approaches that will enhance Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) in our recruitment practices, and build awareness of EDI with our current and future board members. Over the last eight months, the board reviewed processes, policies and communications relating to board recruitment and selection with a lens on encouraging and increasing diversity and inclusion. The UGAA has committed to education for all current and future board members including the online U of G training called Principles of Belonging: Introduction to Equity, Diversity & Inclusion , and a two-session module on Power, Prejudice and Privilege to provide tools to address racism and discrimination.
“The UGAA is extremely proud to support new initiatives that speak to excellence in student programming and wellness on campus because these are the foundations of a great experience at the University of Guelph. We are equally committed to promoting equity, diversity, and inclusion in all of our efforts, as we continue to grow our vibrant alumni community.” ~ Christina Crowley-Arklie, President, University of Guelph Alumni Association
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