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Freshman Diversity Experience

All incoming freshmen are required to attend the Freshman Diversity Experience by the end of their first academic year. The OU Freshman Diversity Experience uses research based curriculum to help students prepare not only for future employment, but provides a baseline skill set that will help students make the most of their OU educational experience and fully engage as a member of the OU Family.

Students can fulfill the requirement by attending one of two options:

• A three-part summer orientation experience during Camp Crimson 

• A three-hour standalone training during the student's first semester

If you missed your assigned Freshman Diversity Experience for the 2016-2017 school year, please email university.community@ou.edu

Univcoll Circle Sculpture with student walking on south oval

Diversity Experience Themes

1. The Diverse OU Family

  • Introduces students to the diverse make-up of the OU student body.
  • Introduces students to the various ways people form their identities, including race, ethnicity, color, national origin, tribal citizenship, class, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, genetic information, age, religion, ability, political beliefs, or status as a veteran.
  • Shares stories of OU students and locates this generation of students within the ongoing project of building an inclusive community.
  • Encourages students to consider their rights and responsibilities as part of the OU family.

2. Being Aware of Difference

  • Helps students learn to identify the explicit but also subtle ways that group differences exist on campus and in society.
  • Encourages students to understand that they are at a place that is welcoming and celebrates diversity and inclusion.
  • Makes students aware of some of the ways that privilege and various forms of advantage can attach to differences.

3. Understanding Stereotypes

  • Introduces students to concepts such as implicit bias, stereotype threat, and attributional ambiguity.
  • Helps students understand stereotypes, and how the resulting prejudice and discrimination can harm groups and individuals, even unintentionally.
  • Explores the possible ways that individuals experience the transition to the OU family.

4. Learning to Interact

  • Provides students with the opportunity to practice positive interaction in ways that recognize rather than repress identity issues.
  • Provides students with templates and patterns for inclusive practice in the use of language and other forms of interaction.
  • Introduces students to the dangers of aversive racism.

5. Your Responsibilities

  • Overviews with students the rights and responsibilities of being a member of the diverse OU family.
  • Provides students with effective techniques for active intervention in situations where the values of respect and diversity are being undermined.
  • lntroduces students to the many ways they can celebrate cultural diversity during their OU experience and learn more about the study of human difference through the curriculum.

Methods of Instruction

The Diversity Experience...

  • Should use self-reflective practices and open space for conversation with other students of different identities.
  • Should use perspective taking to build cognitive empathy.
  • Should include examples of how human cognition uses stereotyping and build metacognitive awareness.
  • Should reinforce a growth mindset for all members of the OU family.

Southwest Center For Human Relations Studies

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The Office of University Community holds a partnership with the Southwest Center for Human Relations (SWCHRS) conducting the Freshman Diversity Experience.

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