Throughout October, both the Ogden and Davis campuses will be hosting events for Hispanic heritage celebrations with activities such as Ballet Folklorico and food experiences around campus.
Events like these are part of Weber State’s push to be diverse, started by President Wight. Wight has been actively involved in spreading diversity around campus. He has been committed to showing up when it matters by participating in events that matter to the students. He attended the Pride Parade in June because he wanted students to know about diversity and be involved.
How does his message reach out to the rest of students? Many of us grew up in communities where everyone looks just like us. Some of us have moved to Ogden from other cities where the dominant race is Caucasian. According to the student characteristics survey of 2013-14, Weber is only 52 percent Caucasian, which can open students’ eyes to other cultures they may not have experienced before.
To be exposed to diversity is to appreciate the true beauty of the world. Attending college has opened many of us up to a variety of unique opportunities. Our campus offers the diversity center, multicultural center, Women’s Center, LGBT resources, the nontraditional center and the list goes on. Weber welcomes a diverse student body and we as students readily work with all different cultures. Our administration on campus does everything it can to make everyone feel welcome.
The Center for Diversity and Unity has events taking place on campus every week. Events like Taboo Talks and panel discussions open up the floor for students to freely voice their opinions and get feedback. At these events, panel members are there to provide feedback and expert advice. At the Taboo Talks, there have been debates, panels and presentations set up right next to the atrium of the Shepherd Union building, according to the diversity program coordinator Teresa Holt.
Being open to all ideas helps students to stay exposed to all cultures. In order for everyone to feel accepted, you have to be open to all the aspects their culture offers.
We need to stay away from the “us versus them” mentality that creates the barriers in our society. Staying in your bubble kills creative and critical thinking. In classes and on campus, we learn how we are different and how we are the same. Understanding diversity helps to build bridges and defuse conflict.
Our country, though initially settled by white men, was founded by many people from different cultures coming together for freedom. The English, Spanish and French all settled on American soil to form one nation. America is known as the melting pot, and while we have all come together in one country, our differences are what makes us unique.
On the campus level, we are constantly working on experiencing each other’s cultures. Cliques can still be seen around campus, segregated by race. Students may be scared to blend cultures.
The opinion within The Signpost staff is to put yourself out there. By keeping yourself sheltered, you are shutting yourself out from all the amazing experiences that the campus has to offer. Students and faculty alike are constantly trying to figure out more ways to get students involved, and there are so many opportunities to get involved, like free events, lectures, panels and dances. No one should exclude themselves, because then they are going to feel like they missed out when it’s all over.