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Diversity Roundtable Stresses Collaboration

What do we think of when we hear the name of a particular group on campus? This is exactly what Penn State students discussed at last night’s Diversity Roundtable convened by the University Park Undergraduate Association’s Student Life and Diversity Committee. The roundtable brought students of all races and backgrounds, representing numerous student organizations to the HUB to answer this question in the context of “diversity and campus media.”

Topics on the floor ranged from the recent racist incident at the Michigan game to the Homecoming stabbings off-campus to the here-and-now. Essentially, students should be better educated in order to eliminate one-line, automatic, dismissive associations one might have with a particular community on campus.

“We just need to break the ice and it’ll be easier,” said NAACP member Hannah Mitchell, regarding the difficulty of crossing multicultural borders, such as a white student believing that he couldn’t attend an NAACP meeting because he wasn’t black. The group recognized that many misunderstandings are borne out of ignorance. They hoped that collaboration between groups would involve a greater portion of students from all walks of life, encouraging knowledge that would help to bridge the gap and separation that many community members feel exists between groups at Penn State.

Many agreed that more open dialogue like last night would help foster greater understanding. How do you feel about the multicultural climate on campus?

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About the Author

Dan McCool

Dan is a senior and has been writing for Onward State since January 2010. Did you miss him? Nah, neither did we. He's returning after a semester abroad in England and will be serving as Arts Editor. Favorite things in life include references to The Big Lebowski.

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