“Everyone Matters” campaign culminates in Non-Judgment Day

Courtney Strohmeyer, an OSU senior with the Student Events and Activities Center, prepares a display in the MU Concourse for the Everyone Matters campaign. (photo: Theresa Hogue)

Non-Judgment Day is upon us. Are you ready?

This term, a new student-led campaign at Oregon State University has been working to make everyone feel welcome and supported on campus. The “Everyone Matters @ OSU” campaign was inspired by a Global campaign called “Everyone Matters” which encourages people to use social media to tell their stories about non-judgment and inclusivity.

At Oregon State, students Neha Neelwarne, Jeffrey Tsang and Hannah Pynn, along with the support of the Dean of Student Life, created an OSU version of the campaign focused on inclusion and non-judgment at Oregon State. Since September, the students have been gathering pledges from students, staff and faculty across campus focused on positive aspects of interaction. People have pledged to “Say hi to new people so they can feel welcome at OSU,” and “See the best in others,” or “Be compassionate to everyone.” Lisa Hoogesteger, director of Healthy Campus Initiatives, even pledged to “Listen to Duck fans.”

“At OSU, we want to nurture an environment where everyone is treated with civility, dignity and respect,” said Neelwarne. “College is a place where we’re supposed to foster learning, and that includes learning about, and respecting the differences, between all of us.”

A series of videos has been produced by several groups of faculty and students, focused on different aspects of inclusivity. Student Maria Garcia thanked her parents for supporting her pursuit of higher education. Members of the Office of Equity and Inclusion talked about the importance of supporting working parents. Each video offered a different definition of what it means to matter at OSU.

Courtney Strohmeyer and Neha Neelwarne discuss strategy as they work on a display for the Everyone Matters campaign. (photo: Theresa Hogue)

The official “Day of Non-Judgment,” is a 24-hour challenge to not judge, in thought or action, and will take place on Nov. 14, at 11:14 a.m., in the Memorial Union Quad. Participants will read a pledge of equity and inclusion out loud, and students will repeat it. Because the event is happening during International Education Week, the pledge will also be read by students in their native Chinese, Arabic and Spanish. Afterward cocoa will be available for participants.

Additionally, a display of pledges made around campus is being shown in the MU Concourse. There is an interactive piece as well, allowing visitors to share how they have been judged, and why they matter at OSU.

For more information on the campaign, see https://www.facebook.com/EveryoneMattersAtOsu

~ Theresa Hogue


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