A Comfort Thing

“I don’t know if it’s really a race thing so much as a cultural difference.”

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Transcript for A Comfort Thing

With the exception of the athletes, all the black kids sit together and all the Mexican kids sit together. This year I do notice perhaps because there are more black and Latino students on campus in general… that they do kind of sit together. And I don’t know if it’s so much them not wanting to sit with white students or with international students per se, but I think it’s more of like a comfort thing… because there are so few minorities especially if you break it down by like, what type of minority you are, it gets to be an even smaller percentage.

You never really see the international students and the American students interacting. And I think it’s really strange because, you know, when you go to college you think that you’re going to meet all these people from all over the country, and we have the opportunity to meet people from all over the world and for the most part we don’t (me included). We just kind of… you don’t really interact with those people… and I think it’s really sad because I’ve been to some workshops. And I’ve had international students say that they really do feel like outsiders just because people don’t speak to them. And I don’t know if it’s really a race thing so much as a cultural difference. Like people don’t really know how to approach like different cultures, or like… “I don’t know if they like the same things I like.” You know, things like that.

I don’t know how Valpo can really fix that. I really think it has to be the students really getting involved with activities. Maybe if more minority students got involved in other activities that aren’t just like the stuff in the OMP [Office of Multicultural Programs] or like… if like the white students came to stuff in the OMP then maybe the cafeteria would be more inclusive. I don’t think Valpo can really do anything. I think students kind of have to take it upon themselves to really decide to do something about it.

  • marc

    it’s definitely the students that need to make the change here! i am currently in a group of friends here at valpo that is very mixed both in nationality and ethnicity. i myself am a dutch international student, other international students in my group of friends come from: England, Germany, India, Pakistan, Jordan, Mexico, Canada, Ghana, Brasil etc. in the american part of my friend group there are latina’s, people from black backgrounds and whites. i am very happy with this because it gives you a better sense of the entire world. why studying in America i don’t only learn about american culture but about cultures all over the world. because of my own friend group i didn’t notice the separation that the girl in the audio was talking about, but now that i think about it it is such a shame that i don’t see more friend groups like my own. not only does it help internationals see America but Americans also get a sense of whats going on outside their country first hand.

    • aschuet1

      Thank you for sharing your experiences! Sorry we didn’t see this comment sooner. OIP and OMP do a lot on campus to help foster these friend groups. It would be great to see more American students participate in these intercultural social groups. ~ Allison