Master's of Public Health class coordinates OU for Unity Panel
On Wednesday November 30, 2016 students from Dr. Rebecca Cheezum’s Social Determinants of Health class assembled a panel of experts to discuss how to make OU an inclusive campus. The recent presidential election has been an ongoing topic of the class, in particular what implications a new administration will have upon public health in the near future. The panel entitled, “Embracing Diversity: A Forum to Support Inclusion on OU’s Campus” was attended by 30-40 people, consisting of primarily OU faculty, staff and students. According to Dr. Cheezum, “the students really organized and ran the entire event. I only served as support, which was really great to see them pick up and run with this.” While students from the class prepared some questions, the audience asked thoughtful and provocative questions of the panelists. The panelists were very open and obviously had been thinking about the topic quite a bit. Panelist focused their comments on the topic of inclusion and its connection to health, with a lot of focus on stress and mental health. The panelist also focused much of their discussion around the divisions that the recent election has had on campus and what that means for different groups on campus - from foreign students, members of the LGBTQAI community, and middle class, white, Republican students. Dr. Cheezum stated, “I think we only scratched the surface on that conversation. I think there is a lot of work to be done, and I hope there are more discussions like this on campus in the next semester.” Students from the class developed a resource guide for students, staff and faculty and can be obtained by contacting Dr. Cheezum at firstname.lastname@example.org.