SWE-UCLA Advocacy: Food for Thought

Since the Advocacy Director is a new position, the head and committee had to come up with new ideas for events. One of them was simple but intriguing: provide diversity-related prompts for people to answer on sticky notes, and post them up on the walls of Boelter (the engineering building). The only problem was getting the approval for the event and location. SWE’s SOLE Advisor not only approved the event, but he loved the idea and gave input on how to make it even better. The SWE bulletin board was approved for use.

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The event was held on Thursday, November 19, from 10 am – 2 pm. As an incentive for people to participate, Diddy Riese cookies were ordered, contributing to the name “Food for Thought”. The questions asked were: “How do you think having women in STEM is beneficial?”, “In what ways can we bring change to gender inequality in STEM?”, “What does diversity in STEM look like?”, and “Despite knowing about the discrimination you may face, why did you still join STEM?” The event was quite successful, especially since it was able to attract the attention of non-SWE members walking through the hallway in addition to already existing members. Also, there were even more men who answered than women, which was a great way to spread SWE’s message of gender equality. Around 60 people participated in the event, some of whom even answered multiple questions.

After the event was over, they left the responses up on the board for around a week to allow people passing by to read them. Overall, everyone seemed to enjoy the event, and the committee feels that it made people really think more about equality in STEM.

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