Resident assistants, also known as RAs, are student staff members charged to be a valuable resource to the students attending college. These staff members are often encouraged to create diversity-themed programs for student involvement. Diversity-themed events are used to help students get to know each other and gain a better understanding of the different cultures that are prevalent within their campus communities.
The group membership game is an activity that helps build an understand for diversity among a group of individuals. This program can be used for groups of 10 to 15 people or larger teams split into smaller units. Have the group either stand or sit in a circle.
The activity leader begins by calling out a certain group or character trait an individual may have. For example, the leader can say, "Who comes from a multicultural family?" Those members of the team who fall into that group will then move to the middle of the circle. They will stay there until the activity leader calls out a trait in which they are not a part of.
Once all the team members have had an opportunity to join the middle of the circle, the activity leader can then hold a discussion about how it's impossible to tell what groups people may fall within; the leader should explain why it’s important to be accepting of individuals around you.
Common Societal Beliefs
A program addressing common societal beliefs helps erase the stigma of many stereotypes that are harmful to different individuals. To begin, the activity leader creates and passes out a set of documents that lists characters and their individual traits or habits. Next, have the group discuss what types of negative personal habits this person may have, based off the information presented. Once the group has created a list, the activity leader then reads a further bio on the character, stating facts about the person that are opposite to any negative stereotype created. The point of the program is to help the group understand that blanket statements about a group of people are unfair; it should teach students to take each person as an individual.
Selling a Region
Selling a region is a team-building activity that teaches the group as a whole information about various parts of the world; it helps the group members learn how to give effective presentations. For this program, divide your group into units of 2 to 3 people. Each unit is then given a particular region of the world to market to the other group members planning a vacation. The group should focus on such attractions as the native culture, sports, entertainment and local foods. Once all the groups have presented information about their region of the world, have the staff vote on which location was best marketed as a whole.
- James Woodson/Digital Vision/Getty Images