“Valpo has a very big responsibility to each student to ensure that they are feeling welcomed.”
Warning: story contains language that may offend.
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Transcript for I Don’t Feel Excluded, but I Don’t Feel Invited
One Saturday night, I was trying to catch the… (What do you call it?)… Valpo bus that travels around campus. There was this kid standing outside smoking a cigarette, and he was obviously intoxicated in some way. And he pointed out the door and was like “Wow, there’s a bunch of niggers out here… look at all the niggers. Everybody go inside because there’s niggers out here.” And… I… thank God every day that I feel like I’m a little bit more mature than perhaps I was in the past. Because perhaps, in the past, I would have gotten angry and really flipped out and you know, probably seeked some kind of action to be done in this situation. But glory be to God, I just shut it out, tuned it out, and just chalked it up to a learning experience, or a test for me to get stronger… and that was basically the end of it.
But you know, to know that at a place that you spend, you know, the majority of your young adult life studying, living, and working… for that to happen, you know, it just goes to show that times really haven’t changed that much. And this community and this campus are no safe haven from, I guess, the evils that exist (I’ll say that).
I do understand that Valpo can’t necessarily tailor everything that every student says… or know specifically a student’s racial outlook when they select them. And they also can’t stop things from happening if they go unreported. But at the same time, Valpo has a very big responsibility to each student to ensure that they are feeling welcomed–that they are feeling comfortable, that they are… more or less happy in the situation that they’re in.
And with that said, I feel like Valpo has dropped the ball in many instances. I don’t feel excluded, but I don’t feel invited. It’s more like the doors are open and they say, “Hey, come if you want to,” but nobody is more or less laying the path or laying the groundwork and telling me how to get there. Because I would like to see Valpo put its money where its mouth is. Not to say that… you know, once again Valpo is an excellent university, but an ideal Valpo would be one that makes every student who attends feel welcome. I don’t want to have to go to Chicago Heights just to get my hair cut because no one on campus knows how to cut my racial group’s hair. I don’t want to have to go all the way up to Chicago to know what it feels like to get a home cooked meal. You know? I would like to see Valpo throw its money into the community to bring in other things that would make minority students feel more at home.