The University of Wisconsin School of Veterinary Medicine (SVM) attributes its unique, internationally admired academic environment, in part, to the diversity of its student body, faculty, and staff. The SVM adheres to the university’s philosophy that diversity of students, faculty, and staff has a positive influence on the educational process and contributes substantially to the quality of programs and graduates.
One of the school’s fundamental principles is to foster a climate of diversity and inclusivity that is infused with high ethical standards, professionalism, and compassion.
Diversity of students is addressed by one of the seven strategic priorities of the school, which is to recruit a diverse and high-caliber population of students and support their success.
The SVM has a commitment to increasing the representation of minority and disadvantaged groups in the veterinary medical profession. Diversity among members of the veterinary medical class will result in a profession better able to respond to the varied and changing needs of society. The SVM is also resolved to create teaching and learning environments that support diversity
Veterinary Medical Students
Current veterinary medical students also are committed to increasing the number of underrepresented minority students and creating an environment that is inclusive of various cultures. Two of the student clubs at the UW-School of Veterinary Medicine that promote the ideals of a supportive and welcoming network for all students are:
Veterinarians as One Inclusive Community for Empowerment (VOICE) Chapter at UW-Madison is the local chapter representation for national organization, VOICE National. The primary goals of VOICE, both nationally and locally, are to increase the social awareness and education of veterinary students in subjects related to—but not limited to—social justice, diversity, multiculturalism, and inclusion. With regards to the VOICE Chapter at UW-Madison, its members strive to create an environment within the SVM that embraces diversity and promotes the success of ALL students.
Broad Spectrum Veterinary Student Association provides education and a supportive environment for LGBTQIA+ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgendered, Queer/Questioning, Intersex, Asexuality, and the “+” symbol simply stands for all of the other sexualities, sexes, and genders that aren’t included in these few letters) students, faculty, staff, and friends within the UW-Madison School of Veterinary Medicine. Overall, Broad Spectrum strives to make veterinary schools more inclusive for all students, especially LGBT+ students via the initiation of important and courageous conversations about LGBTQIA+ inclusion, whilst maintaining much needed support for students who identify with the LGBTQIA+ community within the veterinary medical profession.
Veterinary Medical Profession
The American Association of Veterinary Medical Colleges (AAVMC) is also committed to diversity: “The AAVMC affirms the value of diversity within the veterinary medical profession. The membership is committed to incorporating that belief in its actions by advocating the recruitment and retention of underrepresented persons as students and faculty and ultimately fostering their success in veterinary medicine.”
The AAVMC also hosts the bi-annual Iverson Bell Symposium to discuss and promote issues of diversity in veterinary medicine.
Please read more about AAVMC national initiative and programs regarding diversity.