STUDENT EXPERIENCE TEAM LEADERSHIP PROGRAM GOES TO DULUTH, MN

duluth.jpgSeven Student Experience Team (SET) Leaders, from Hennepin Technical College (HTC) and one advisor, embarked upon a cultural exploration trip to the University of Minnesota Duluth (UMD) in early November.  “Having a great desire to understand the world in which they live and how they connect to other students and the greater communities prompted the SET Leaders to travel to UMD.  Spending a day in Duluth to learn about people different from themselves shows their commitment to true inclusion,” says Sue Schmitz, Interim Director of Student Life and Career Development at HTC.

Duluth has a different demographic than the Twin Cities.  Because of the difference, HTC students were able to learn about diverse campus populations and how to incorporate them into Student Life and Career Development (SLCD) activities.    They also discovered that UMD started clubs for the diverse groups on campus to give them a sense of belonging and acceptance.  For example, UMD has a Women’s Advocates group, Black Lives Matter group and various groups specific to the student’s country of origin in Africa.  Many of the student groups present on UMD’s campus do not exist at HTC.  Yet, it allowed HTC students to observe how a campus can be more inclusive of minority groups.

In addition to learning about the various clubs and culture at UMD, HTC students had time to enjoy self-guided tours of UMD, walking tours of the city, explore the Duluth Chocolate Factory and eat at an historic restaurant.  All of these activities helped to bring the group closer together.

At the conclusion of the trip, HTC students felt more united, empowered and galvanized into taking steps to better SLCD.  The trip proved to be a good opportunity for students to observe how a college successfully addresses student diversity and inclusion on campus.