It is often assumed that diversity only refers to ethnicity but there are several other factors that add into it. Visiting your college’s office of diversity is often one great way to learn about the unique student body that makes up your school’s campus.
Diversity encompasses ethnicities, sexual orientations, economic backgrounds, religious beliefs, and political ideals. Schools aim to increase diversity on their campuses not for “political correctness” but to add to the learning environment and experience of the school.
Walking into your school’s office of diversity can contain much information that will be valuable to you in the present and future. So what exactly can your office of diversity do for you?
A bit strange but it’s something that can happen. Learning about others also includes learning about their struggles and current problems. By learning about these experiences you can further understand them and others who have been in those situations.
Diversity offices often have sessions that explain the problems people of different cultures and other minority groups experience. The sessions may also include Q&A booths where people can gain further insight of these experiences and further learn more about their fellow students.
There are sometimes situations on campuses where cultural or social misunderstandings cause conflict. Learning about others lessens that possibility by taking different point of views into consideration. It also makes a great way to not only educate yourself but others too on the many different sub-cultures on college campuses.
Removing Tunnel Vision
Tunnel vision is when you limit your focus instead of looking at the entire picture. Learning about different perspectives on one issue is not meant to override your opinion. It is to provide a perspective that challenges your opinion. Different perspectives allow you to learn about your own beliefs and the beliefs of others. Not only do you learn more about yourself but also how to critically think.
When you grow up in an area where people have similar backgrounds it can be difficult to find different opinions even when you try. Diversity offices give you the opportunity to meet new people who have different views on various issues.
Removing tunnel vision isn’t only limited to social or political issues. If you’ve never left the country meeting an international student could broaden your perspective more than a history book could. There are several things that a classroom or book could tell you about a group of people but you don’t really learn about them until you meet someone from that group.
Teamwork and Leadership
Many diversity offices offer the opportunity to join teamwork and leadership programs. If you want a taste of life after college this would be something to check out. With the world becoming more globalized there will be more instances of working with people of different cultures. Current movements are also working in bringing more rights and opportunities to other marginalized groups. All people whom you will work with at some point in your life.
Such programs teach you how to communicate with people different from you and to listen to different perspectives. When it comes to problem and solution situations, you never know when someone may come up with an idea no one else had considered before.
There’s several people who are interested in visiting their college’s diversity office but often don’t because they feel they don’t fit the commonly accepted picture of “diversity”. Diversity offices provide safe places for minority groups and are there to educate people who are willing to learn. Next time you pass by your college’s diversity office take some time to step in and learn!