Swartdogs focusing on diversity, equity training

The Swartdogs, Cedar Fall’s robotics team, has been conducting their diversity and equity training sessions at their work sessions and teaching members how to be more inclusive and aware when it comes to talking to others. 

Senior Charlie VanHooreweghe, who is a leadership member in the Swartdogs, said, “Diversity and Equity training is important because lots of different people have different experiences and privileges, and when we have conversations about this, it helps people see other people’s points of view.” 

When one can see another person’s perspective, Hannah Batterson, who is on the Diversity and Equity Council at FIRST, said it really helps improve teamwork skills and conversations that go on in teamwork settings. “I think implementing D&E training in school and other sport settings would be beneficial for teamwork, sportsmanship and understanding differences,” Batterson, who is also a member of the robotics team, said. “It could be specific to each member and help educate them,” says Hannah. 

The diversity and equity training sessions usually go for about 45 minutes to 90 minutes and discuss topics like race, gender, socio-economic status, sexual orientation and ethnicity, but also topics like discrimination and how to spot it and address it. 

FIRST has had a diversity and equity area for two years, and the Swartdogs have been conducting training since it was first introduced. 

VanHooreweghe and Batterson both agreed that if they could add more categories to the training it would benefit everyone, and they also stated it would be better if the training had more explanation of the positive effects of implementing diversity and equity training into a program.

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