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, February 17, 2012

Office of Multicultural Affairs Questions: Why Are We Here?


In my life, through my eyes, this is my observation. This is my theory.  In my generation, becoming more evident with every class entering Assumption College, gaining knowledge, experience and fully exploiting the benefits of attending college becomes less of a priority.  
Now, I haven't had the time to gather any statistical data through means of thorough research to validly claim what I am about to state. But, I cannot shake the feeling that college is becoming the new "high school." Let me attempt to relax your puzzled face after trying to understand that obscure statement. Throughout my childhood, I always knew I would be going to college. My entire family drilled that into my head from before I can remember. "The only way you're going to college is with your brain," my mother would tell me. 
Always a bright boy, what she meant by this is that neither she nor my father had the money to send my twin and me to college. Therefore, going to college meant no money would be coming out of their pockets. Moving away from, in my opinion, the ridiculous price it takes to attend a fine institution such as this, college wasn't always the normal mindset. College may have been on the agenda for millions of people back to my parents' and grandparents' generations, but college wasn't a part of the norm. Now, again, my knowledge on this matter doesn't exceed what I have heard through family, teachings, friends and colleagues. Back to my point; receiving a high school diploma or a GED was the main goal of education in prior generations. Going to college was a blessing. Do I believe attending college and receiving higher education is still a blessing? Yes; but I feel it has lost some meaning.
Remember when I said I cannot shake the feeling that college is becoming the new high school? And, throughout my childhood, I always knew I would be going to college? Well this mindset of "I always knew I would be going to college" I feel doesn't just lie in me, but with my generation. My parents didn't even know if they would finish high school, and yet I haven't doubted I would be going to college. I get all variations of the same answer: "I always knew I would be going to college," when I ask students how long have they've known they wanted to attend college. There is no problem with that. It's great. This mindset has allowed myself and others not to think of high school as the end of our educational journey because that wouldn't feel "right." 
High school is slowly becoming, hypothetically speaking, the "middle school" our parents have gone through to get to the end of our educational journey, the "normal end" that has been high school for years. College is becoming more of the minimum of our educational standard we have for ourselves, thus making college more of the norm. I'm afraid that this has resulted in students taking college and all it has to offer less seriously. This is not okay.
I do not intend to call anyone out. I am not purposely trying to make anyone upset or feel offended. I assume there will be people who will disagree with me. I also assume this might not pertain to everyone. I only intend to express my opinion and share my thoughts.
With that being said, I have some questions I want you to think about. I don't have the answers, only you do. All I want you to do is think about these questions and be true to yourself. 

Why did you want to attend college?
What do you want to get from attending college and why?
What goals do you want to achieve through your college career?
How are you going to achieve them?
If you don't have any goals, why don't you?
What resources are you tapping into?
Why are you tapping into those resources?
What are you doing now that will benefit your future?
How involved in your college community are you?
How involved are you outside of your college community?
If your apart of a student organization/club, how involved and engaged are you?
Do you passively attend meetings?
If you want to see changes, are you actively trying to make those changes happen?
Do you fully understand what you organization/club stands for?
Are you happy with your choice of major?
Why/Why not 
Have you done research about your major or intended major? 
Minor? 
What separates you from the students sitting next to you in class?
What do you have to offer to your college? 
What do you have offer the world post-graduation? 
Just think about it. Why are you here?
- Tyler Alston-Swan

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