A Gen Z Guide to Inclusivity

  • conducted dozens of interviews of uni students

Some findings:

  • "for many Generation Z students, the measure of inclusivity is not the presence of particular structures, opportunities or resources at the institution, but rather, the absence of negative feelings such as fear, insecurity or social tension"
    • study also talks about how fraught these ideas might be, interesting read
  • "Whose job is it to create these feelings of inclusivity? Students said much of the responsibility lies with faculty members. In their views, we are -- or should be -- the ones with the authority and expertise to create the ideal classroom climate."
  • Many students in our study cited social “segregation” as a major hindrance to inclusivity. They described their own friend circles as fairly static and/or homogenous. “If students were able to step outside of their box more and interact with people they wouldn’t naturally interact with,” one said, “that could help inclusivity.”
  • Yet students who raised this concern seemed unsure about how to get outside their social comfort zone, and more than a few said that they would appreciate intervention from the faculty and administration.
    • One student suggested that the college could have a dining space devoted to meeting new people.
    • Others said more co-curricular events with the sole purpose of helping students broaden their friend groups were needed.
  • Association of American Colleges & Universities: “The active, intentional and ongoing engagement with diversity -- in the curriculum, in the co-curriculum and in communities.”
  • If we frame inclusivity instead as a dynamic process in which discomfort is inevitable, but will not be ignored or dismissed, perhaps we can shift the conversation.