by: Dolly Wang, Diversity Chair, Associated Students of Madison (ASM)
It is hard to find a sense of belonging when you are studying abroad in a foreign country and being so far away from your family and best friends back home. It was hard for me. Everything here is just different, the culture, the language, the food, the people. Not everyone is as lucky as I am to find a “home” here in the States—somewhere I know that I belong.
I started as an intern of the ASM (Associated Students of Madison) on Diversity Committee. I worked on grassroots campaigns to increase college affordability for international students. It was a wonderful experience for me—it was more than just a challenge or a great leadership opportunity. I felt so included. There were always acceptance and respect in the room. I felt like I could be myself and that I was appreciated, and I felt safe. Thanks to the ASM, I realized the importance to be myself and to express my identity, and to be this one tiny but crucial part of the diverse culture. It is not right to accommodate in order to feel included. Everyone is part of this diversity, and everyone is deserved to feel that they are appreciated.
Now, as the chair of Diversity Committee, I want to create that kind of inclusiveness that I enjoyed here for more students and to build this connection on campus. This year, we will be actively involved in the Diversity Plan implementation process, to have members sit on implementation working groups and have relational meetings with administrators to get the ball rolling. We would love to have student representatives from different student organizations over UW-Madison get involved in the Diversity Plan implementation process and sit on those working group committees. If you are passionate about diversity and want to be an active student voice on campus to make UW-Madison a better place, this is where you belong.
Diversity Committee is having weekly committee meetings every Tuesday, from 5-6pm, in Room 4001 at the Student Activity Center. The meeting is open to everyone who is passionate about diversity. Definitely drop by during our meeting and get to know more about us.
To get in contact with Dolly:
Office hours: 11am-1pm every Tuesday and Thursday at the ASM office, feel free to drop by and chat at the Student Activities Center!