Even without racism North Central’s atmosphere is not racially positive
When I think of diversity I think of people being culturally aware. True holistic diversity is more than everyone voicing their opinions, and it requires actions that lead to things getting better.
Each individual student has to know what they can do individually to make it better no matter how they have been treated in the past. Ask yourself what you can do to bring change.
On campus, I have not been overtly wronged or negatively treated because of my race, but that’s not to say that people do not do minor things that treat me different than they would a white student.
Someone will walk up to me with an over exaggerated, “HEY GURL” and say, “hello” to the next friend they pass in the skyway. In itself, this is not a big situation and every student doesn’t do it, but it shows that we are not culturally aware.
Our campus keeps students in their respective groups, and we don’t try to get to know the other groups outside of that with which we are comfortable. If someone took the time to know me, they could come up to me and talk about something we have in common or something that interests me, and not just greet me like I am a “black friend.”
I don’t think this is a conscious mistake, but students need to be aware of their actions. We need to take the time to get to know students from other people groups instead of assuming that someone in an- other group can only relate to their own crew, and you can only relate to your own crew.
Even without people being blatantly racist or treating people separately there is an atmosphere of racial separation. In a recent anonymous student-led survey for a youth development senior seminar class, students responded that they felt that race was a major factor to a lot of the clique-like behavior at North Central. One minority student surveyed even called North Central “simply a white club.”
Making North Central a “club” for all races isn’t going to happen instantly. We need to stop the jokes about other cultures and races; there’s no way to know what is going to offend the person next to you. We need to stop only talking to people we assume we have something in common with, and get to know every people group in our community. We need to decide to have a diverse mindset, and that can be as simple as greeting a black student the same as you would a white student.
Even if no one is treating people poorly because they are a different race or culture, plenty of black students I have known are leaving the school because they are not part of the North Central community, and if we want a diverse campus every side of this problem needs to participate equally to make this more than just a welcoming environment for anyone, but a holistic diverse community.