The Office of Intercultural Education (OIE) seeks to establish and sustain a campus climate where the principles of inclusion, compassion and respect are at the core of our community consciousness.
Guided by the ideals of the Bates College mission statement, OIE programs are grounded in an understanding that difference includes people of all sexual orientations, ethnicities, abilities, religious, spiritual and cultural traditions, gender identities, socio-economic backgrounds, and races. The OIE endeavors to increase intercultural competence through ongoing dialog and academic engagement. The OIE also aims to bolster students’ intellectual growth and personal development by providing access to resources; space for meetings, quiet study and reflection, and opportunities to celebrate the richness of our differences.
Vision: “Embracing Difference, Respecting Togetherness”
This vision is built on two goals. First, providing all of our students from underrepresented backgrounds a “space to be apart”. Second, providing the resources and opportunities for the entire Bates community to experience “time to be together.”
With regard to the first goal, “a space to be apart” means more than having a special room or a house for students from underrepresented backgrounds. It is embodied in the office providing opportunities for individual students to talk about the difficult aspects of their Bates experience and receive support in doing so; offering safe spaces for student groups to talk about issues they face at Bates and beyond; and by celebrating the richness of who they are—creating and fostering a campus climate that promotes different students experiencing Bates differently, by design.
As for “time to be together”, this is the aspect of the office that provides the resources and creates opportunities for the entire Bates community to interact around issues of difference, discuss difficult topics and learn from one another’s experiences. These are the opportunities to enjoy and express what makes us the same.