Commitment

 

QCIB was always intended to be a conference that provides all students with the chance to learn about international opportunities and discover their passions for International Business. Over the past month, we realized that we have lost this mandate and have to work towards creating a more inclusive environment at our conference and within the Commerce program as a whole. The conference has become something that is only accessible to students of higher-income families, thus creating an environment embedded with privilege. We support @stolenbysmith, we thank Kelly Weiling Zhou for her labour in creating the account, and we praise all that have spoken up in their efforts to raise awareness on the issues in our community. We further encourage everyone to make themselves aware of the systems of oppression present around us.  

 

As a result of this inequality we have created, we know that we must change. We want to offer international and QTBIPOC students more opportunities within the program. We also want to offer resources that will help every student at Smith understand and appreciate other cultures and have access to international opportunities. Like other executives, we have created a 3-step action plan that aims to break these racial barriers and return to our original mandate. 

 

Thank you to those who have spoken up, continue to let your voice be heard and we will do what we can to make the change happen. If you fit the category of a current or prospective QTBIPOC student and you are interested in International Business, we want you to apply to both the conference and the executive. 

 

Plan of Action

 

Short-term

Objectives: Bridge the skills gap, liaise between students and international resources, break barriers to an inclusive environment

  • Events/initiatives to bridge the skills gaps of local and international students  (1-2 per semester)
  • Fall Event: Partner with a Finance or Consulting club to do a workshop on basic PowerPoint & excel tips, cover letters and interviews, etc. for students who did not have such a strong background in this prior to first-year (bridge the skills gap for QTBIPOC students)
  • Winter Event: Run a taster event in November to give all students a run-down of International Business, what our conference is, and what we will be looking for in the delegate applications. This will bring everyone to the same playing field in terms of what to include in a conference application and how to write a compelling answer, thus bridging the gaps for QTBIPOC students who may not have had such thorough experience in applications like this in the past. 

 

  • Blog posts focused on understanding other cultures (1 article or podcast per month)
    • Titled the International Interview Series, featuring people of different ages, cultural backgrounds, and places of work experience. This series will help people develop a stronger network of people who have worked in countries they wish to pursue, to help them build up a network that they may not have had as a result of upbringings or limited networking opportunities.
  • More extensive background checks on speakers we bring in to ensure proper messaging and influence.
    • The speaker’s team will conduct a background checklist to ensure speakers have no background of discriminatory speech or actions towards members of the QTBIPOC or LGBTQ2+ community
  • Land acknowledgments recited at the beginning of each conference event 

 

Medium-term

Objectives: Liaise between students and international resources, break barriers to an inclusive environment, connect students to better opportunities

  • Conference bursaries for QTBIPOC students/anyone who needs it – proven financial need 
    • Alumni bursary for 2-3 high-quality delegates chosen by donating alumni
    • International student bursary for a delegate in financial need
  • A diverse set of speakers at the conference and for podcasts/ad-hoc event
    • 50-50 split of male and female speakers 
    • At least one speaker from each stream of business
  • End-of-year survey to be conducted each year, for the executive team to give upward feedback on exec culture, diversity, and inclusion

 

Long-term 

Objectives: Liaise between students and international resources, break barriers to an inclusive environment, connect students to better opportunities

  • A unique value proposition for connecting all students to international opportunities (return to original mandate)
    • Mentorship program within the next year, connecting students to international alumni
    • Membership program within the next 3 years, providing exclusive mentorship and recruiting opportunities
  • Improving the diversity of delegates that attend the conference by making it more accessible and welcoming to a broader range of students
  • Yearly analysis of conference financials to determine ways to lower delegate fees, thus making them more accessible to students