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Letter to the editor: Clarifying misconceptions about 'Unlearning' workshops

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We have received recent feedback regarding our voluntary workshops providing out-of-the classroom educational opportunities for our students. I want to provide some additional background on the workshops in the interest of clarifying misperceptions that may exist.

The workshops are neither a mandatory education program nor a preconceived judgment of the greek community; rather, they are a resource provided in response to the requests heard from this community.

The workshops originated from feedback from the greek community and conversations between Student Affairs and greek student leaders. These student leaders acknowledged the unique challenges they faced living and socializing with large numbers of their peers and having situations and conversations in their chapters regarding workshop topics.

In response to their requests, Student Affairs worked with OU faculty and staff to develop a curriculum-based program with an out-of-the-classroom feel. The workshops’ purpose is to provide a helpful framework to learn key concepts, reflect on personal experiences, and equip students to feel confident in having intentional and honest dialogue while strengthening and promoting a more inclusive community.

The workshops were piloted in spring 2016 and received very positive feedback. Additionally, they are completely optional, self-paced and can be completed in any order. While the curriculum focuses on an environment of living, dining and socializing together, it is applicable to all students, and all OU students are welcome. Registration is available through OrgSync.com.

It is critical to have continued dialogue regarding these issues within our university community and beyond. We are eager to offer another semester of the workshops as a resource to strengthen our university community. All OU students are welcome. If you have further questions, please contact Student Affairs at (405) 325-3161 or email me personally at brynn@ou.edu.

Brynn Daves is the assistant dean of students at OU.


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