The Office for Inclusive Excellence (OIE) hosted the final Diversity Dialogue for the semester on Tuesday, Nov. 12 in the Smith Student Center, discussing self-care’s meaning and importance for the SRU student body.

The event was guided primarily by Keshia Booker, the assistant director of Multicultural Development for the OIE, with the assistance of two additional OIE members due to the number of attendees.

During the event, students were encouraged to participate in activities and discussions that asked them to consider quotes centered on self care, give their own definition of self-care and rate themselves in various categories of self-care.

A common misconception, Booker says, is that self care is simply a physical and emotional process that doesn’t extend beyond those strict categories. As with all other Diversity Dialogues, Booker said that her goal was to help students consider the scope of these issues and how they apply to the entire student body.

“I hope that, in the end, our students can take the time to think about being inclusive and being able to have conversations around similar subjects,” Booker said. “If nothing else, I hope that they take a look at Slippery Rock and how it’s running things, and then, if they’re looking for more inclusivity, they are able to push for it respectfully or celebrate it if it already exists.”

Self-care was the fourth and final Diversity Dialogue for the Fall 2019 semester, a position which Booker chose in hopes of ending on a more positive note by discussing a topic which centered on joy and how to attain some form of it. 

“The first Diversity Dialogue was ‘What Makes a Community’ because I wanted to have a basic conversation around what community is at Slippery Rock — how one views it, how one participates — those sorts of things,” Booker said. “I felt like without a sense or understanding of community, we wouldn’t be able to truly excel with the other three topics.”

Going forward, the Office for Inclusive Excellence plans to continue the Diversity Dialogues series in the upcoming Spring 2020 semester. Booker says the plan is to return in March with the same format of four consecutive weeks of conversation, though, potential topics are still being discussed.

Jack Konesky is a junior Converged Journalism major and has been working with The Rocket since his second semester here at SRU. This is his first year serving as Assistant Editor for the Campus Life section. Jack hopes to pursue a career in journalism after graduation, fostering a lifelong passion for both writing and reporting.

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