The LiberatEd initiative was officially launched last week, and has experienced wide spread support across campus since its inception. The initiative has been headed up by the four liberation groups on campus, who wish to create a more inclusive, accessible and diversified curriculum across all University subjects for students and staff from under-represented backgrounds.
They wish for the university to both hire more BME, Disabled, LGBT+ and Women academics and promote inclusive methods of teaching and assessment to give academics and students from underrepresented groups career opportunities and a stronger voice in classes.
Additionally, they ask that all the teaching staff be taught how to skillfully and confidently tackle problematic behaviour, for example microaggressions of an ableist, sexist, racist, transphobic or homophobic nature.
One of their goals is for reading lists to become more diverse, rejecting their current eurocentrism and male domination in favour of a broader range of academics and texts from backgrounds which are typically underrepresented.
Similarly, they promote making critical, intersectional perspectives into the mainstream throughout curricula, not only at Honours level but also Pre-Honours.
The LiberatEd initiative suggests students can help to promote the message of diversification and inclusion by suggesting readings and perspectives missing from the university’s courses, through class representatives, the Staff-Student Liaison Committee or through course feedback.
They also recommend requesting the library add books and other texts by authors and academics from marginalised communities by using the Request a Book form, which can be found on the University’s website.
A more hands-on approach is also suggested by those in charge of the initiative, however all ideas from all students are welcomed in order to incorporate the concerns of the student body as a whole.
LiberatEd workshops have already been run in the Schools of Literatures, Languages and Cultures; History, Classics and Archaeology; Social and Political Science; and Philosophy, Psychology and Language Science.
Over March and April, LiberatEd workshops will have addressed hundreds of course organisers.
Image: Josh Green