Students Staff

9 May 2019

A week of celebrating the cultures and traditions of European Countries

Filed under: News — ckeitch @ 8.44 am

Monica Illsley, our Chief of Staff, and Chair of the joint staff and student One Essex Inclusivity Group tells us more about Europe Week and why we’re so proud of our diversity and our inclusive spirit.

Europe Week

Europe Week

Last week students and staff came together for a week-long programme of events to celebrate what it means to us to be a European community. The idea came from our Students’ Union and it felt like the right thing to do as part of our ongoing joint University and Students’ Union One World, One Spirit, One Essex campaign.

As a University we’re proud of our diversity, our people and our inclusive spirit. We value being in an environment where students and staff from across Europe live and work and we aim to respect and support each other, no matter who we are or where we come from. It’s one of the reasons that we, as staff, work here, and why many of our students choose to study here.

Students at our flag parade

Students at our flag parade

I myself was born and grew up in London, but my parents and my family are Spanish. I first came to Essex (more years ago than I care to remember) to study for a European Law degree which included a year abroad, having chosen Essex because it felt international and welcoming and like the right fit for me. I’m now fortunate to work here and that my work brings me into contact with people from all over the world on a daily basis. I am proud to feel British, Spanish, and European.

In these times of political turmoil, we will each have our own identities and strongly held views and beliefs. Whilst these have the potential to divide us, they are also part of what makes us a diverse and, I think, really interesting, open and tolerant learning community.

A stall at our street party

A stall at our street party

Europe Week, led by Asha Ali our wonderful VP International and Students’ Union President (Elect), saw students and staff come together through events and activities, to share cultures and traditions, the things that make us who we are as individuals and that together make us the rich and vibrant University community that we’re so proud of. And from the Opening Flag Parade on Monday to the Street Party event that closed the week in style on Friday (despite the less than ideal weather), I think we did just that.

Useful links
Impact of European Union referendum vote for staff
Brexit support and advice for our students
Reaffirming our position as an international University community

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