Welcome to the OU First Year Diversity Experience.
How do I know which training to attend?
Why a "Diversity Experience" at OU?
Diversity is about differences, but this narrow definition is not useful in understanding what diversity means on a university campus such as the University of Oklahoma (OU). Diversity is what makes each of us unique and includes our backgrounds, personality, life experiences, and beliefs. Diversity includes ‘invisible’ social identities such as disability, sexual orientation, socio-economic class, religion, immigration status, veteran status, and others. In fact, all of the things that make us who we are shape our campus community. It is a combination of the visible and invisible differences that shape our view of the world, our perspective, and our approach.
Millennials view diversity as the blending of different backgrounds, experiences, and perspectives within a team, which is known as cognitive diversity. Millennials view cognitive diversity as a necessary element for innovation and are 71 percent more likely to focus on teamwork than other generations.
For millennials, inclusion is the support for a collaborative environment. It values open participation from individuals with different ideas and perspectives that have a positive impact on business. Leadership at such an organization is transparent, communicative, and engaging.
For many businesses, diversity and inclusion is essential for organizational survival and resilience. Businesses want to hire graduates who understand their role in building a truly inclusive culture that supports individual passion, commitment, innovation, engagement and authenticity. Businesses also know cognitive empathy, or perspective-taking, is essential for innovation and organizational resilience in a competitive global economy.
Additionally, students who connect meaningfully through difference demonstrate higher levels of cognitive complexity and academic identity persistence.
The OU Freshmen Diversity Experience provides a baseline skill set that will help students make the most of their OU educational experience and be able to fully engage as a member of the OU family. The Experience uses research-based curriculum to equip students for future employment.
Is it required?
All freshmen are required to complete the in-person Diversity Experience Training by the end of their first academic year. Students who participated in Camp Crimson sessions over the summer received their training during those sessions. (If you have questions regarding your Camp Crimson experience, please contact K. George Ahmadi at kga@ ou.edu).