End of the year events and parties are a common way to gather and celebrate. Nearly every office, organization and friend group get together to celebrate the end of the year and rejoice in the holiday season. When hosting an event, it is important to strive to make all guests feel welcome and comfortable.
Holiday parties provide a host with the opportunity to show they know and appreciate the things that make their guests unique: food, drinks, accessibility, personal life and lifestyle are all things to take into consideration when planning an event. What type of food is being served or available? Are there gluten-free and vegetarian options? Reach out to attendees to see if there are any dietary restrictions or cultural requirements. If drinks are provided, make sure non-alcoholic beverages are offered as well. Handicap accessibility should also be considered when determining the location of an event, especially if the attendees bring dates or friends to the event, as you likely will not know the needs of everyone. It is always best to be prepared.
Think about what activities will take place at the event. Is it a welcoming environment for those that are more reserved or shy? Or is it only a comfortable situation for outgoing individuals? Consider including activities for people of all personality types to do while at the event.
On invitations, consider mentioning that guests could also bring a friend. This is an easy way to include those individuals who are single, in long distance relationships or whose significant other simply cannot attend the event. Another way of using inclusive language can be as simple as saying “spouses and significant others are welcome” instead of saying “husbands and boyfriends are welcome.”
For collegiate and alumnae chapter events, a level of respect should be given to all members, including a respect of their cultural background and religion. Consider hosting events this holiday season without a specific religious theme. A New Year’s themed party is one way to host a holiday event that is not specifically Christmas-themed. Often holiday parties include religious themed décor, invites, games, food, etc. Games like Secret Santa or dreidel can insinuate a religious affiliation. It is also wise to consider the dates of major religious holidays and avoid hosting an event on those days.
As Delta Gamma’s Positional Statement on Inclusivity states, “Delta Gamma Fraternity does not discriminate in its membership selection on the basis of race, ethnicity, religious affiliation, color, creed, national origin, sexual orientation, marital status, physical disability or other characteristics protected by state, provincial or federal law. Membership is open to all individuals who identify as women. Those selected for membership in Delta Gamma must have good scholarship, be of good character and standing, have an interest in activities that will enhance the academic atmosphere at the college or university, and have a sincere desire to contribute to the work of Delta Gamma.” In order to support our Positional Statement on Inclusivity during membership, we encourage our members to be mindful of inclusivity when planning events. Enjoy this time of much celebration with sisters at all of your upcoming Delta Gamma events!