By Steffanie Martinez |Staff Writer|
Our nation is one of the most culturally diverse; embracing this diversity is important not only during college but essential for our future.
Diversity isn’t only about race, ethnicity, gender, and religion.
The conversation also includes sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, and age.
As we grow older it’s important to embrace the differences of others.
According to the American Council on Education, diversity enriches the educational experience.
“We learn from those whose experiences, beliefs, and perspectives are different from our own, and these lessons can be taught best in a richly diverse intellectual and social environment,” according to “On the Importance of Diversity in Higher Education (2002)” report.
College is one of the first introductions we have to a truly diverse environment.
Students will come across individuals whose appearance, cultural backgrounds, and beliefs are different than what they may be used to.
Born and raised in a small desert town, attending college in San Bernardino was one of my first experiences being introduced to diversity.
It was a culture shock; yet it also made me most excited about the city.
Meeting people who are so different than myself is what I find
to be one of the most enriching parts of my college experience.
There is so much to learn about the world; learning about others and respecting our differences is a step in the right direction.
This may be challenging for some to understand.
When differences arise people tend to become mentally and emotionally closed off from listening to others if they don’t agree with their beliefs or lifestyle choices.
Part of accepting diversity is remaining open to the viewpoints of others, by doing so
does it does not mean your beliefs are incorrect simply
These interactions will increase your levels of understanding with those of other cultures.
Our campus promotes a positive attitude towards diversity on campus.
Our university in particular has a goal to maintain the principles of diversity commitment.
“In our commitment to furthering knowledge and fulfilling our educational mission, CSUSB seeks a campus climate that welcomes, celebrates, and promotes respect for the entire variety of human experience,” according to the CSUSB website.
CSUSB practices diversity inclusiveness by promoting events that promote viewpoints of race/ethnicity, religion, gender, and sexual orientation.
This gives students a platform to speak, celebrate, and start conversations among the student body; Learning about diversity in a way that some students may have not been exposed to before.
Our campus also offers the Cross Cultural Center (CCC) which helps to promote awareness by also hosting various events throughout the academic year.
Today, hundreds of colleges and universities recognize the educational value of diversity, viewing student and faculty variety as an essential resource for optimizing teaching and learning.
As stated by the American Association of University Professors, “Most American colleges and universities have held that all students benefit when campuses reflect a broad range of intellectual and social perspectives.”
Despite educational benefits alone, as human beings it is
crucial that we gain an understanding of ourselves and share that information with others.
Most importantly, we should have a mutual respect for the differences of others, embracing diversity in all ways.