Office Of Multicultural Affairs

The Office of Multicultural Affairs (OMA) was established in 2002 to support the College’s efforts to attract, recruit, and serve both students of color and international students. Our mission is to create and sustain an environment that encourages and embraces the contributions of people from a variety of cultural and ethnic backgrounds.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Office of Multicultural Affairs Talks Diversity

         I enjoy people watching. While some might find this a bit strange, I, being a psychology major, actually think it’s a great way to pass time and it also gives me a chance to learn a lot. Human beings are very complex, and although we will never get to know who someone really is unless we talk to them, we can learn a lot by just observing our surroundings, and how they behave in them. For example, I’ve learned that I know more left handed people than I thought. I’ve also observed that there are so many different ways one can hold a pencil. I am able to pick up on a person’s favorite color, if they cross their legs while talking, or if they have certain comforting mannerisms they do without even realizing. Little things like that actually make up a person. If I can learn all that just by watching a person, imagine how much I can learn by striking a conversation!
Over the summer, I was talking to a friend about a whole lot of nothing, but from that conversation alone we learned so much about each other in just twenty minutes. We learned things that may have seemed small, but they were essentially a huge part of us. Not only that, but because of that conversation we learned one important thing, “I’m not the only one who does this!” So, while I found many difference between us, it was good to find some similarities as well. 
I can only imagine how many differences there must be on this campus, how many lefties are there, how many people come from small families, how many come from big ones. How many people wear glasses that actually need them, how many wear contacts instead? How many people don’t wear or need glasses at all. How many different hair types there are, how about eye colors, or shoes sizes? I often wonder who was brought up with strict parents and who had more democratic parents? Do you ever take the time to find out the values you share with your friends? Are there any values that you or your friends see completely different? Partaking in a classroom discussion shows me how many people have disabilities, how many people are only children, how many people come from working class families, even. Think about how DIVERSE this campus really is. Many people have this misconception of diversity, and only think of ‘big pictures’ such as race, religion, and/or sexual orientation, and that doesn’t even begin to cover what diversity is. If you take the time to observe people or even have a conversation about nothing among your circle of friends, not only will you notice that there’s more to your circle than your common interests (which I would assume bonds you), but you’ll truly appreciate who you are and appreciate the differences you see around you. So, go ahead and embrace diversity, you’ll be glad you did. 
- Isabelle Biennestin 
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