This month’s overarching topic is inclusion. Therefore, we should first think about what inclusion means overall. To me inclusion is the ultimate task of letting nobody left behind. Whether that’s helping somebody with mental struggles, physical disabilities, or just emotional support in a time when its needed.
Inclusion is often only seen as a topic regarding people with disabilities but in reality, it is a topic that should be addressed by all of us. Especially since if all of us are aware, we might be able to at least create some change towards the better. And that’s the goal.
Inclusion to overcome barriers
In our university life we all experience different barriers throughout our studies. Whether those are physical like for example a set of door swellers or stairs if you sit in a wheelchair or mental barriers like burnout or dyslexia.
Those are somehow limiting your abilities to be active in society or in the worst case even in everyday uni life.
At Karls we try to reduce these boundaries as much as we can. This is why being aware of inclusion and also being open to it is so important. Because a little gesture or helping hand might not mean much to you but can make somebody else’s day.
But nevertheless, it all has to happen in a way that it is still comfortable to the people being helped, therefore it should in the end feel like normal behavior if we help somebody else. Otherwise, the good will can quickly shift towards being a burden or even an unwanted restrain to those being helped.
Inclusion of people from different heritage
The awareness of inclusion can also hinder certain effects like mobbing or feeling left alone by just adding to a more family like group atmosphere. This is extremely important at an institution like the Karl’s where there are students with different ethical and geographical backgrounds. Even different languages. Therefore, by being inclusive it all helps us to reduce possible existing mental barriers constructed by society and ultimately enables us to live a better student experience with the Karl’s family.
Inclusion as a way to enrich your life
At the Karls there are already many programs in place in the curriculum ultimately having those goals like intercultural communication or intercultural marketing, where differences are being looked at more closely and strategies constructed how to interact and communicate. Those helped me personally a lot, especially when it came to the understanding of different cultures and will ultimately also help me in my professional career. Because in our globalized world we most likely will be dealing with international partners, clients or even just friends.
Also, as an institutional level the feedback board can be used to create more attention to certain issues that ultimately lead to more inclusion. As an example, during my study period, I can remember the implementation of gender-neutral toilets in order to make nonbinary people feel more welcomed and therefore also more included in the Karls community.
A inclusive society can only be seen as a win for all participants of that society since the benefits by far outweigh the potential downsides. Inclusion behavior should be seen as a natural habit in our everyday lives and if you give it a try will most likely also ultimately have a positive effect on your overall life.
Therefore, to create a better future for all of us, let us all be more inclusive.
*Karlshochschule is an educational institution and a non-profit organization as well. We want to encourage individuals and young people to take responsibility, find their own voice and initiate change in a sustainable and tolerant way. Listening to different opinions not only promotes different perspectives, but also discourse. The content of this blog is characterized by the diverse experience and opinions of the authors, which may not be the majority opinion of the university, but provokes reflection and discussion.