By Sophia Kanavos '18
The Human Resources and Diversity and Inclusion departments have made it this year’s goal to focus on engaging more students in HEC. Liza Brown, the director of the Human Resources department, stated that its priorities are to support students who are currently involved and to encourage other students to get excited about joining this tradition in the future. The Diversity and Inclusion department, directed by Jada Robinson, aims to “create an inclusive environment for the students, and to be able to adhere to different student’s needs and ensure that their voices are being heard and represented accurately.”
The Human Resources department plans to focus on trying to get as many new people involved as possible, with a special focus on upperclassmen. When asked what they are doing this year to differentiate themselves from the past, Liza mentioned how they plan to get more input from a more diverse range of students. One of the ways in which they have already started to do so was by hosting a small event where students were encouraged to list activities that would interest them in joining HEC, such as a cooking class or leadership training sessions. Liza states, “We want people to see HEC as something accessible and easy to get involved in.”
On a similar note, the Diversity and Inclusion department has created a semester-by-semester plan to engage students in HEC. This semester, they plan to focus on the newly developed MIT Program by helping their students to gain more leadership roles. They will then shift their focus to diversity panels and work on increasing the flow of information to students as well as combatting rumors about diversity in HEC. This year, MIT students will be hosting an event called Hotel Ezra Coffee. They will also have the opportunity to experience individual departments with different learning roles for further exposure into how HEC comes together. Jada also mentioned how they plan to bring influential speakers to discuss their experiences as minorities in different careers.
This year, the main priority of these two departments is to increase awareness and encourage students at Cornell to get involved with HEC. The Human Resources and Diversity Inclusion departments led by both Liza and Jada remain an integral part of HEC and will continue to encourage student participation for years to come.