Source: Charta der Vielfalt und Hochschulkommunikation University of Jena

On 31 May 2022 Fergal Lenehan and Luisa Conti were present with an information stand as part of Diversity Day at the Friedrich Schiller University of Jena.

We very specifically wanted to know: What ideas do you have that could make the FSU Jena more inclusive?

In the course of the day, we collected a number of contributions on our flipcharts and forwarded them to the university’s diversity office. Here are the results:

  • Classes in English (same topic, two languages)
  • All buildings should be wheelchair accessible
  • More transparency regarding sport and activities
  • Central institution/support centre for problems and questions of various kinds regarding orientation
  • Let students choose their own name and title (Mr. Ms. Mx) for Friedolin, email and other university information services
  • New methods e.g. lecture at home and discussion together “in public”; including preferences mentioned by students, actual interaction
  • More guest lectures where people can talk about their own experiences
  • Self reflection on discrimination, workshops on racism, cultural practices and structures
  • Coming to terms with the colonial history of the FSU Jena, and academia in general
  • Stimulate multilingualism
  • Enlightenment regarding the plurality of disabilities that exist
  • Smaller lecture halls, reserved spaces at the front for disabled people who may need them
  • Access to a study place for people with many years of work experience
  • Recognising non-German qualifications
  • More time for the completion of studies and financial support for older people
  • Further support for the diversity office; meaning more jobs and resources
  • Situating diversity as one of the Leitbilder/foundations of the mission statement of the university (at least three people wrote this)
  • Having laptops available that may be borrowed from the university library
  • Having more hygiene product, such as tampons and sanitary towels, available in the bathrooms – including men’s bathrooms
  • Having case studies – for example in Legal Studies – with more diverse family models and people
  • A better connection between the university and non-academic aspects of the community
  • Barrier-free access for wheelchair users, including the use of ramps
  • Taking the disadvantages accruing from Covid 19 (i.e. “publication gaps” due to a lack of childcare) into consideration in job interview situations
  • Further education for those in leadership roles
  • Mentoring/tandem from/for various groupings
  • Cultural sensitivity during semester introductions/The employment of new personnel