University of São Paulo: Free course addresses respect for diversity and plurality in the university environment

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As a part of society, the university can serve as a space for the reproduction of inequalities, discrimination and even practices of violence. To fight them, a watchful eye, empathy and a certain amount of knowledge are needed. It is with this aim in mind that USP, on the São Carlos campus, presents the new extension course: Building safe environments to face violence at the University .

Free and in a face-to-face format, the course will be held from August 31 to November 23, 2022, with classes on Wednesdays, from 7 to 9 pm, in the Amphitheater of the Teaching Laboratory Building of the School’s Electrical and Computer Engineering Department. of Engineering of São Carlos (EESC) of USP. In all, 100 vacancies will be offered and applications can be made virtually until August 25 at this address . EESC students who take the course will be able to use their workload as complementary academic activities in their academic records.

Focused on the area of ​​Human Rights and aimed at interested parties from within and outside the university community, the course aims to create a space for discussion, understanding and learning to better deal with this issue, by addressing topics that are related to the theme. of violence and discuss possible forms of reception and confrontation, aiming to mitigate conflict situations, in addition to contributing to the training of students, future professionals with greater ability to relate to differences and promote respect in interpersonal relationships.

“The university campus is an environment that promotes social interaction and the discussion of often conflicting ideas. This environment of contesting ideas and discussing different ways of thinking is healthy for the development of science, technology and education. However, these discussions can lead to conflicts of interest and, despite being in a university environment, we are not free from prejudiced attitudes of the most varied types, which can also trigger violent attitudes”, highlights professor Luís Fernando Costa Alberto, mayor of the campus of USP São Carlos.

In this context, emphasizes Luís Fernando, “it is the role of the University to discuss these issues and promote an environment free of prejudice and inclusive. This course is aimed precisely at making students aware of the existence of violence and prejudice of the most varied types and on the need to act with common sense to minimize conflicts and violent and/or prejudiced attitudes at the University, as well as outside it”.

Plural programming
The course’s programming involves topics such as types of violence, its introduction in the university environment and how susceptible we are to it; non-violent communication; bystander intervention ; racism and anti-racist struggle at the University; violence against people with disabilities; violence against LGBTQIA+ people; violence against women and their career in exact sciences; relevant legislation; and support networks. In its conclusion, the participants of the course will present work with proposition of actions that contribute to the promotion of a safer environment in the University, so that they are trained to act as multiplying agents in favor of respect and the promotion of safe environments inside and outside. of the University.

For Professor Luciana Montanari, course coordinator and vice-coordinator of the EESC Inclusion and Belonging Commission, the new course is aligned with some of the areas of action of the new USP Dean of Inclusion and Belonging, in the sense of contributing to the transformation and adequacy of the University according to reality.

“Experiencing the University is a pleasure and a challenge for any student, because, in addition to the expectations and responsibilities generated by their own autonomy, they will have to deal with the plurality of ideas and the diversity of personalities. By providing an environment for discussion, understanding and learning to deal better and in a guided way in possible situations of conflicts, weaknesses, harassment, constraints, among others, the course will contribute to stimulating healthy relationships at the University and also outside of it”, highlights Luciana. .

Professor Vilma Alves de Oliveira, president of the EESC Graduation Committee, echoes and reinforces the importance of developing the competence to recognize the signs of violence and live with differences. “In addition to highly qualified professionals in their respective fields, the University needs to train citizens capable of understanding their time, social conflicts and knowing how to deal with differences in opinions, options, personal characteristics and affinities. This course, therefore, is in line with the EESC guidelines by offering conditions to complement intellectual training, valuing extension and extracurricular activities, as well as encouraging the development of personal and interpersonal skills.”

The action is part of the Anti-Violence Program, carried out through a partnership between the EESC, the Human Rights Center at USP in São Carlos, the Social Service of the Campus City Hall (PUSP-SC), Atlética do Centro Acadêmico Armando de Salles Oliveira and Grupo nook.

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