Being able to really seek knowledge and understand how people from different cultures act, communicate, and perceive the world around them is more than less, very important. Being able to come to a mutual understood meaning between any intercultural encounter is the object of communication, effective communication. I come from Puerto Rican and African American descent but in relation to this article, I am first, a STUDENT of this liberal arts institution. I am second, a student of color.
I am growing weary of this back and forth indirect communication between the “majority” and the “minority”. All it does is cause tension between certain groups on campus, I feel it and so do you. In-person intercultural communication is the most effective way to suspend any misperceptions towards cultures and/or ethnic heritages that differ from your own. Deep in-person dialogue between the “majority” and the “minority” is the only TRUE dialogue that will draw a significant connection between this mindless and ignorant gap between us, on both ends. Liberal arts; free to chose, free to be, but not free from mental segregation. This mindset of not wanting to step outside our cultural boundaries and being afraid to sway and linger from our in-groups isn’t progressive. If anything, we will only continue to bind ourselves tightly to what we know as “comfortable”, until the bind is too tight: until the subtle damage that has progressed over time is too great to reverse or mend.
Many of us are familiar with the term, “don’t talk about it, be about it”. This institution takes pride in our students; we take pride in our faculty. We take pride in what we as a catholic institution has accomplished over the years! Now it’s sincerely time to take pride in the cultural diversity WE have created. It’s time to stop talking about what we should do, but what we can do to diminish or shrink the gap between our white and minority students. It’s time to BE who we say we are. “Our Catholic identity also challenges us to create a campus culture that respects the dignity of each member of this community because all of us are created in the image and likeness of God.” These are the very words from Assumption’s President, Dr. Cesareo. Are you up for the challenge?