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.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

OMA on the Importance of Reading

Like many 20-year-old college students, procrastination is an addiction, a hard habit to kick to the curb. In the midst of our procrastination high, Facebook may be a recurring side affect. 
As I was procrastinating and spending time on my Facebook page, I came across someone's bio that read, "I do not like to read." And although it wasn't a shock to me, I found myself thinking intently about the very notion of reading and it reminded me of a quote I read in Malcolm X's autobiography: "Where else but in prison could I have attacked my ignorance by being able to study intensely sometimes as much as fifteen hours a day?" 
Malcolm X studied by reading many books. He said that reading [books] was the best way to attack his own ignorance. In the college community, I found through experience that not many people are willing to pick up a book. 
Of course, many classes require students to read, but who does that anymore? It is a commonality for students to ignore required texts in favor of a much more addictive form of reading and writing, such as Facebook and Twitter. 
I'm not saying that these social media outlets aren't good resources, because as witnessed in Egypt, they were the main contributors to a revolution. I am more concerned with books and why students leave them to collect dust on unattended shelves.
I remember reading an article one day written by Marc Lamont Hill, an associate professor of education at Columbia University, in which he said, "Sadly, it seems that the next generation won't have...a lifelong connection tobooks...because books matter less and less in our society." He also went on to say, "The problem isn't the death of reading, it's the death of books. And book culture." 
This is exactly what I've witnessed as a college student. It seems as if reading books is a dying culture that is being taken over by a technology that is the Internet. 
Instead of waking up and reading a book, we wake up and check Facebook. As for me, I wake up and check my Twitter feed (which I find as a great source for information, opinions etc.). So, as I try and break away from this generational norm, I encourage others to do the same. 
Even if you don't want to read books for the sake of learning and knowledge, think about what my good friend Dr. Seuss once said: "The more you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you'll go." 
- Trae Alston-Swan

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