Vassar Freshman Orientation Teaches Students to 'Appreciate Social Justice'

Students attend the commencement at Vassar College / Getty Images
August 11, 2017

Incoming freshman will be required to complete diversity-themed workshops at Vassar College as a part of new-student orientation in order to help students "appreciate social justice."

Vassar will hold a 15-day mandatory orientation that will include three workshops focused on "celebrating identities and affirming belongingness within our communities," Campus Reform reported.

The goal of this year's New Student Orientation is to encourage students to engage and appreciate social justice. The students will begin a "journey towards self-awareness, community awareness, and appreciation of and support for a diversity of experiences, interests, beliefs, identities, and abilities," according to the orientation schedule.

The series will take five hours to complete. "We are Vasser workshop" is the first in the series and will encourage students to "begin the process of reflecting on self, those that live around you and the world beyond Vassar’s gates," the orientation says.

In another session, students will learn about people "of particular identities, beliefs, and expressions," and the final session will consist of "celebrating identities and affirming belongingness."

"New student orientation at Vassar is a collaborative effort among faculty, staff, and administration to promote community building and intellectual and cultural exchange," a Vassar media relations Susan DeKrey told Campus Reform.

"Toward this end, orientation engages a wide range of divergent perspectives and lived experiences," DeKrey said."The program is built on opportunities for first-year students to learn how to engage a community that values, among other things, informed and independent thinking and respectful debate and engaged citizenship."

The "Freshman Handbook" also promotes Vassar's dedication to social justice. The school offers a Bias Response Team and Diversity Office.