The UW Oshkosh Bateman Team hosted “ID & Me,” an event that covered the topic of inclusion in the Public Relations field.
The event, which was held in Sage Hall on Monday night, is a part of a semester-long campaign that five UWO students have been participating in. These students are competing in a national competition with a campaign focusing on the power of inclusion and diversity in the public relations and related fields.
Students began the campaign in November for their class through the UWO journalism department.
The event, which stands for “Inclusion and Diversity Media Event,” had contributions from several UWO student organizations including Advertising Club, PRSSA and Photo Club.
UWO senior Taylor Mueller said the group wanted to start a simple dialogue.
“We decided to host an event that sparked a conversation about inclusion in the workplace,” Mueller said. “We want to showcase the fact that we all have diverse voices.”
The two-hour event had several workshops dedicated to topics around diversity and inclusion.
Ad Club provided a presentation about diversity of voice in the advertising industry. During the presentation, a discussion of recent controversial ads filled the majority of the presentation. Recent campaigns from Nike, Adidas and Gillette were all topics of discussion.
PRSSA conducted short video interviews with various attendees that aimed to start a conversation about diversity.
UWO senior Lance Gullota said the goal of the campaign is to broaden the definition of inclusion and inform the student body on ways they can be inclusive.
Gullota said the preparations for the event started back in the beginning of the fall semester.
“All last semester was dedicated to research,” Gullota said. “We surveyed a lot of students and faculty about this issue.”
Gullota said after conducting research in the class, the team found there is a misconception as to who can or cannot be diverse.
“We’re trying to expand the definitions of diversity and inclusion to hit on diversity of thought,” Gullota said. “It’s not just about your ethnicity, it’s about everybody’s unique thought process.”
UWO senior Bri Colebourne said after conducting surveys, they found that 19 percent of people in the Public Relations field believes they are not diverse. Colebourne also said students and professors at UWO are currently on opposite sides of this issue.
“There’s a disconnect between the professors and students here,” Colebourne said. “Half of the students here said they don’t think professors are talking about these issues enough, while the professors here believe they are addressing this issue enough.”
During this campaign, the class was given a case study that dove into the statistics behind this issue.
Gullota said after research, it took time for the class to come up with a common theme. It was decided that the central theme of the campaign would be evoke from the idea of everyone having diverse voices.
“Most white people here think they can’t be diverse,” Gullota said. “That’s not true. We’re all diverse and we all come from different backgrounds. We want to show everyone that they can be diverse.”
Colebourne said at the end of the day, we can’t shy away from our differences. Colebourne said there needs to be a dialogue in order to change.
“We just need to open up about it,” Colebourne said. “Get educated on it, visit our website, talk with students around you.”