University Housing’s Diversity Week challenges students to step outside their comfort zone

University Housing’s The Hub will host a multitude of events which covers topics ranging from gender, LGBTQ pride and religious holidays to start off the first week of November.

Diversity Week events will be hosted at different resident halls and at The Hub to encourage inclusivity and openness for all students to attend. The events are collaborations with different organizations on campus that promote diversity.

Denise Crosswhite, coordinator for Residential Life Leadership & Engagement, reached out to many members of the Community Council and resident hall members to gain insight on the topics they wanted to discuss. The majority believed diversity was a topic needing further exploration.

“We always try to talk about ways that we can motivate our students to learn outside their comfort zone,” Crosswhite said.

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Students relax while watching a movie Friday evening at The Hub located on campus. Photo credit: Brian Luong

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All sorts of games can be found at The Hub located on campus. Photo credit: Brian Luong

“Society of Privilege,” an event hosted Monday, partnered with the Cross Cultural Leadership Center.

It covered the many privileges individuals may not have control over. Participants partook in a privilege walk where the facilitator stated various situations that may have applied to those who attended. If the situation applied, the person was asked to step forward. Topics discussed included sexual preference, financial stability, race or legal status. At the end of the event, students looked around to see which privileges applied to them and compared those to others around them.

Crosswhite explained that The Hub hosted this event to ensure students take a honest look at their own privileges and realize the struggles other students have endured to attend college.

Jamilet Felix, an inclusion coordinator with the CCLC, spoke on the help the CCLC, along with other multicultural programs, have provided her. They’ve taught her to not fear being herself and even provided support throughout the semester.

“It’s been very transformational,” Felix said. “THE CCLC has done so much for me and I’m always going to be grateful for this space and the people in this space.”

Felix saw “Society of Privilege” as another way for students to expand their knowledge on the different upbringings of their fellow classmates.

“Just talking about what privilege is, what privilege can do for you and what the lack of privilege can do for you as well, is very important,” Felix said.

Students are encouraged to step out of their comfort zone to learn about topics that may seem taboo during Diversity Week. Crosswhite added that many of these topics are best learned through human interaction.

“It’s very different to read in a book about someone who is part of the LGBT community,” Crosswhite said. “It’s very different to find out that your roommate is part of the LGBT community and that they’ve been fearful to tell you.”

Crosswhite views these events, and the insight gained by attending them, as ways to enrich one’s college experience.

“If a student has an open mind and wants to experience life outside of the bubble they’ve created, then we have these programs,” Crosswhite said.

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The Hub’s chalkboard wall features art from a variety of students Photo credit: Brian Luong

The events taking place Monday through Thursday are listed here:

Monday

  • Society of Privilege with the CCLC – 7 p.m. at The Hub at University Village
  • Religious Holidays – 7 p.m. at The Hub on campus

Tuesday

  • Queer Has Always Been Here With Pride – 7 p.m. at Whitney Study Lounge

Wednesday

Thursday

Brian Luong can be reached at newseditor@theorion.com or @brianluongorion on Twitter.

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