Friday, November 04, 2011

There are a lot of ways this could go...

I'm not sure what issues Weber faces with regards to diversity. I'm sure the same issues exist here as anywhere else, but I'm not sure where the conflict zones are at Weber. I could speculate that having many students from Saudi Arabia could cause strife about religious beliefs and contention about the U.S. activities in the Middle East, but I don't know that it is the case. I would feel confident stating that the predominance of the LDS church in Utah, coupled with that church's stance on homosexuality, would cause homosexual students to feel unsafe.

Most of those feelings come from my time at UVU. I know many gay students who feel completely unwelcome in this state, but are generally welcomed at that school. Again, I don't know the feelings on this campus, but I don't think Weber county is any more or less friendly than Utah county.

What I really think is interesting is how easy it is to talk about diversity by focusing on one group of people and lumping them all together. The definition of diversity is being made up of a variety of pieces. It's important to remember that each student is as diverse within themselves as the student body is. Hispanic students are not just Hispanic. They have religious, gender, sexual orientation, political, and many other identities. A Hispanic student and a student from the Middle East probably have more in common with each other than two Hispanic students. I know that I have more commonalities with gay men or women than I do with the majority of hetero white males.


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