Displayed across the IU is Home campaign website is a message: “Home is where you write your story. Home is where you belong.”
Below it are nine stories from people in the IU community. This is the essence of a new campaign introduced by the Office of the Provost. IU is Home is designed to capture the diversity and inclusion of the University.
“It is an inclusion campaign and a slice of life at IU,” said Janae Cummings, strategic communication specialist for the Office of the Provost. “IU posts a lot of beautiful pictures of the campus, but with this large community, we wanted to show something real.”
The nine stories the website currently features come from an array of people, including the provost, alumni, students and the athletics director, at IU. Each story on the website contains a video of the interviewee discussing a time where they did or did not experience inclusion and written descriptions of their lives and backgrounds. People can submit their stories through the website or nominate others to be featured.
One story comes from alumni Yoshi Tsuji. He is from Osaka, Japan, and spoke of his experience meeting new people at IU that helped him improve his English. Another comes from Yassmin Fashir, a current IU student. She came to the United States with her family as a refugee and is now an international studies major.
Former IU student Cadence Baugh is the videographer for the campaign. Baugh graduated from IU in May of 2015. She is from Avon, Indiana, and said she decided to come to IU because of the strong sense of community in Bloomington and the variety of cultures.
“For me, I really believe that the University really values inclusivity,” Baugh said. “There is a strong sense of people celebrating experiences. I felt like this is a story that needs to be told.”
The stories range from immigrant student experiences to parents’ hopes for their students at IU. Baugh said one story that stood out to her was from Marsha McGriff, director of the Hudson and Holland Scholars Program and an IU parent.
“Out of all of them, I really loved Marsha’s story,” Baugh said. “All of them really opened up, but Marsha opened up the most. She was really real with us. I appreciated that.”
Jennifer Piurek, director of communications of the Office of the Provost, said the campaign is more than just sharing stories. Piurek said they plan to use the narratives for recruiting students to come to IU.
“We want show what the people of IU are like,” Piurek said. “We want all students to know that IU is an inclusive place and that there is a home here for you.”
Cummings said there was not a specific reason why they started the campaign; rather, it was a culmination of events. Despite how divisive the world may be, they wanted to communicate that IU is a place for everyone, she said.
Piurek said they plan to add one or two new stories each month and continue expanding the campaign.