During the fall semester alone, C.W. Post has offered, and will continue to offer, many events showcasing the various backgrounds and ethnicities of its students. There are exactly eight clubs and organizations on campus that deal with promoting cultural diversity. These clubs include the C.S.S.A. (Chinese Student and Scholars Association) and the I.S.U.(International Student Union), which is a multi-cultural organization that fosters growth and inclusion of the entire international student population.
“We have 60 clubs on campus, and they are required to host programs,” says Fernando Mendoza, the Associate Director of Student Life and Leadership Development. “Many clubs choose to touch upon subjects of religion, sexual orientation, and different countries. At times, several programs will work together like I.S.O. and the N.A.A.C.P.”
Throughout the years, college campuses have become more accepting of different races, cultures and sexual orientations.
“I believe that the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) community is well represented on this campus, and the Rainbow Alliance tries very hard to make both prospective and current LGBT students feel accepted,” said co-president of the organization, Andrew Albrechtsen. “Several years ago, however, there was an incident where a group of students burned a Rainbow Alliance flyer in one of the dormitory buildings… Since then, however, I feel that the student body, in general, has gotten more accepting of the LGBT community, quite possibly because of the visibility of Rainbow Alliance on the campus.”
However, even with the growing acceptance of diversity on campus, the discussion of religion may still be difficult.
“We have one or two representatives and religious leaders from each major tradition, from Catholicism… to Islam,” said Father Ted Brown, Chaplain. He went on to explain the importance of representing different belief systems to get rid some of the stereotypes some students made have. “[It’s good] when you see a priest laughing with a rabbi or a pastor… Students can talk about sex and everything, but religion seems to be private.”
Even with all the resources available, some students are skeptical about diversity on campus. “I don’t think there is enough diversity on campus,” said Mekelia Channer, a senior Journalism major, “And, with the little we have, races seems to stick together on campus.”
And, that’s the point of prompting diversity of races, cultures, sexual orientations and religions: to dispel stereotypes and misconceptions. The more exposure we have to what the world can offer as students,the more likely that acceptance for all can come about.
So, have a Merry Christmas. Happy Chanukah. As-salaam alaikum. Namaste or a Happy Kwanza. However you choose to say your greetings, have a happy holiday!