Riley Peterson / Staff Photographer

By: Amelia Bodge, News Editor

The University of Southern Maine’s Inclusion, Diversity and Equity Council (IDEC) has recently been offering $250 mini-grants.

These grants will be given out to departments or student organizations who apply and wish to host university-related diversity and inclusion programming, conferences or workshop registrations, online/zoom programming, or other programs of that nature.

All of the requests for the funding must adhere to the IDEC Mission and Statement of Values.

Their Mission states that “IDEC is an action-oriented council composed of students, faculty, and staff. IDEC partners with University leadership, departments, and organizations to engage our community in creating and sustaining a safe, inclusive, diverse, anti oppressive, anti racist university for people of all identities. IDEC works to create equitable structures, policies, practices, and programming.” 

Their statement of values states that the University of Southern Maine is committed to having equal access to education for all students, actively examining privilege and diverse ideas and perspectives. They also state the University is committed to respecting, fostering, and encouraging ethnic and cultural differences. As well as investigating and implementing strategies that foster and keep innovative and intercultural structures, policies and practices in place. Lastly USM is committed to the recruitment and retaining of a diverse faculty, staff, and student body.

Applications for funding were required by February 15th and all funding must be spent by the end of the semester, May 31st.

The IDEC is a council on Campus that advises the President and administration on matters related to diversity and campus climate. 

The Inclusion, Diversity and Equity Council (IDEC), was formerly known as the Intercultural and Diversity Advisory Council (IDAC). They changed their name during the 2020-2021 academic year as they are not part of the President’s office and are now a stand alone organization. 

The council meets 4 times a year and anyone in the USM community is eligible to attend and participate in any or all meetings. Voting is only conducted by active members of an IDEC committee.Each committee is led by two co-chairs which are elected every two years.

IDEC also has 11 student fellows who are student advocates that lead IDEC’s Student Experience Committee and work to create campus forums and initiatives, participate in planning, and work directly with University leadership on behalf of students and the community.

Along with the committees and organization itself, IDEC has several campus partners including Disability Services Center, Intercultural Student Engagement, Women and Gender Studies Department, and TRIO Student Support Services.

You can learn more about IDEC by visiting their page on the USM website.

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