It’s good to be different! Event success in the Aula of the University of Applied Sciences Kufstein Tirol
The event at the Expo of the study program Sports, Culture, & Event Management pursued the goal of making more awareness and acceptance of diversity. Diversity means differences and similarities between people or groups. On behalf of the University of Applied Sciences Kufstein Tirol, a study project is initiated every year that deals with topics such as age, origin, disability, language, mentality, religion, gender, or sexual orientation, and the associated societal behavior and discrimination is called into question. The international higher education institution not only promotes projects that prompt people to think, but it achieves a modern, contemporary perspective and interpretation via the students.
The student team of part-time students decided to criticize social media and to question the stereotypical ideals of beauty that are propagated there. This turned into an online campaign that reinterprets “beautiful” and focuses more on inner beauty and individuality: “it’s good to be different.” When it comes to the online campaign that was created on various social media channels, anyone could become part of the movement, show their individual beauty, or announce their support of the network voluntarily online using hashtags such as #diversitymatters. The event that took place on January 31 in the higher education institution’s Aula was the grand finale. Courage to be open was rewarded with an attractive prize.
Diversity Matters became a movement
The SKVM Expo where all students exhibit their projects internally was also the showplace to present the diversity project to all people at the higher education institution. The online campaign and the event itself were very well received by all participants and were shared many times on social media channels, which rewarded the months that the seven students spent preparing. The presentation showed that diversity is something wonderful and special. The Diversity Matters team’s stand was placed in the center of the Aula and was also the stage for presenting the special guests. The team leader opened the expo with an inspiring speech: “Dare to be courageous, dare to be different because that is the only thing that differentiates us!”
The highlights of the expo: special guests
A special highlight was the travesti artist Robert who transformed himself into “the great Chantal” in front of the audience with elaborate make-up, blond curls, a corset, and high heels. The artist gave the visitors the courage to be diverse and to be true to themselves in his live music show. “The great Chantal gets right to the point in a way that is serene, incredibly funny, contemplative, or melancholy – a little bit of everything,” says the artist “Magic Robert.”
A live interview with Khalil Ibrahim, a Syrian refugee and student at the University of Applied Sciences Kufstein Tirol, gave the students and the audience something to think about. He gave a very personal insight into his story and talked about his incredible journey, about the dangers, his fears, and the problems that had to be coped with. Khalil Ibrahim encouraged his listeners by saying, “It is good to be courageous. It is important to fight for your dreams and goals regardless of how difficult and hopeless the way may seem.”
Katharina, the pole dancer, enthused the spectators with the refined art of pole dancing in the university of applied sciences Aula and encouraged courageous, interested people to try it out. In breathtakingly high heels, she danced on the pole and showed the students that pole dancing is its own type of sport and is unjustly associated with red-light districts. “Pole dancing is an aesthetic, powerful dance on the pole. “It is a mixture of circus acrobatics, classic dance techniques, and feminine movements,” said the pole dance teacher.
This is how the SKVM Expo and the diversity event were received
The students at the University of Applied Sciences Kufstein Tirol were enthused by the diversity presentation and also very interested in the other exhibited projects. “I am sure that no university of applied sciences or university has ever delivered this kind of a program. It was just great!”, a student reported.
At the end of the event, the “Great Chantal” drew the main winner of the “Diversity Matters” online prize draw. “2 tickets for Area 47 – wow, super!”, said winner Stefan H. The event team gave a positive summary of the event and looked back on the event with gratitude: “We feel that we were able to convey our message well. Everyone should be able to be as unique as they would like to be regardless of where they come from, what goals they pursue, the religion they have, or which sexual preference they have. It is good that way and exactly right because Diversity Matters, and It’s good to be different! Thanks to everyone who participated in the prize draw and to everyone who supported us! Stay courageously on your way.”