Monday, November 07, 2011

Discussing Diversity... Is It Helping?

I sort of dislike the term "diversity," because it's so relative. It just reinforces labeling and segregation by subconsciously making others seem more "other." Despite the fact that discussing the importance of respecting everyone's differences is meant to clear away deep-seated cultural predispositions, the differences are just being focused on and brought into clearer light. It could be that I'm just more comfortable than the average Utah resident being around those of different cultural or ethnic backgrounds, sexual orientation, or social class because of my extremely varied interests and the many, many jobs I've had over the last three years, which have spanned every social class and drawn from a very wide variety of people for their employ.

I'm probably mistaken, but the only issues pertaining to diversity that I've witnessed at Weber State University are: 1. Our school has somewhat of a lack of minority populations, and 2. The small, non-caucasian, ethnic groups that do exist on campus are very prone to form cliques, which is perfectly understandable. If I were going to school in Saudi Arabia, I would befriend any other American students because, obviously, those of a similar cultural background are the most comfortable company to keep. Because there isn't much of a variety of "diverse" students, as compared to peer universities, at Weber State, the major groups aren't forced to interact and become familiar with those that are very different from themselves, which limits the whole student body, socially. I hope that when I tutor students of a "diverse" background, I make myself seem less "other," so students who differ from me socially, ethnically, or otherwise will be more inclined to interact with me. I wish I could more freely engage these cliques without seeming like I'm trying too hard to be friendly and coming across as invasive and odd; because in my opinion, I think the world would be exponentially more advanced if those that have gone out into the wide world to project their own ideas had rather gone out into the world and just listened.

That's really all I have to say on the subject of diversity, so I won't unnecessarily drag this post out just to meet the length requirement.


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