Ask an Aggie: The More Student Stories the Better

How diverse and inclusive are the people you’re highlighting across all of your social media content? Are you representing your community accurately? Are you unknowingly harming any group with your visuals or text? Are you tokenizing anyone, over-including a particular group or leaving anyone out?

Working as a social media manager for UC Davis Undergraduate Admissions, I've been at the unique intersection of communications, student affairs, and diversity, equity and inclusion. And one of the hardest things about my job is elevating and protecting the student story while simultaneously marketing UC Davis commitment to diversity as part of admissions. It's hard not to tokenize and over-represent any particular group, and it's also hard to get out of the "check-box" mindset, where you only showcase the identity you're trying to enroll.

Where I am going with this is that our student team at UC Davis helped begin tearing down these two hurdles I've faced as a professional with the launch of Ask an Aggie. This series pairs students who have never met to talk about their undergraduate experiences. 

The team dreamed big and over the course of three months, produced 13 videos to jump-start this series. And while the lineup of students might not perfectly fit all of our admissions goals, having 12 student perspectives offers more than telling the story of just one student with all our desired identities and intersectionalities. 

My advice if you’re facing similar challenges? Create projects that purposefully highlight many people’s stories and voices because diversity and inclusion will follow.


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