“The University needs to do more than putting a bunch of different kinds of people in one spot and hoping they interact with each other.”
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Transcript for It Doesn’t Just Happen…
Walking through my high school I could hear four to five different languages being spoken from Spanish to Arabic to Polish to Chinese. The university, to be honest, is largely white, suburban, and/or rural…or draws from the white, suburban, and/or rural demographic. Not to say that those demographics in anyway are not as valuable, but the campus itself from what I see is trying to makes strides in diversifying campus which I think is important in any academic setting to bring a variety of ideas, cultures, and whatnot together. So I think it can’t just be about bringing international students, needs to be drawing in from a variety of diverse communities – socio-economically, religiously, racially, ethnically, so forth. To me, being a part of Valpo community means being active in student life, even if it’s one facet. I’m a student athlete, and my only extra-circular, other than track and cross country, is The Torch (school newspaper). I spent a lot of time working at The Torch, and I’m not involved in a lot of other things, but I devote a really large amount of focus and attention to The Torch. Whether it’s The Torch for me, or it’s someone’s Greek organization, or it’s some political organization, or it’s Student Senate, whatever it is, I feel like being a part of the community is more than just showing up for class and living on campus.
I feel like it’s hard to feel a sense of belonging without first feeling a sense of rejection. So I don’t think at any point I ever felt like I was rejected from sort of demographic or community on campus. So, I don’t I can’t say I’ve ever felt like I’ve belonged, but I think that’s primarily because I’ve never been rejected from any sort of community that isn’t like an honor’s program. I think that if Valparaiso University, the campus can be, I think that if we consider it not as diverse as it could be that doesn’t necessarily mean it doesn’t want to be. The University needs to do more than putting a bunch of different kinds of people in one spot and hoping they interact with each other. I think it’s just a process, these things just don’t happen overnight.