Board Editorial: Stop Talking and Start Doing

From spring of 2003 until my graduation in May 2006, I wrote many articles for several sections of my college newspaper, the Los Angeles Loyolan. Here's one of my Opinion articles.
Board Editorial: Stop Talking and Start Doing

Originally Published: Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Yesterday, besides the abundance of PDA and over-consumption of chocolate, we witnessed a day devoted to love. No matter one's feelings about Valentine's Day, known to some as Singles' Awareness Day, there is something appealing about a day set aside for appreciating those who are important to us. Days like these are especially welcome when one bears in mind the considerable amount of discussion about love and acceptance that has been taking place on campus.

In recent weeks, diversity has been an especially common word in the vocabularies of both LMU students and staff. Debate over the passage of an amendment adding provisions for diversity to the job description of the V.P. for social justice was immediately followed by a heated discussion over whether or not to change the title of the position to "V.P. for social justice and diversity." The issue that began in an ASLMU senate meeting has ballooned into a campus-wide deliberation regarding the university's role in, as well as the definition of, diversity.

The Loyolan has been flooded with letters and opinion articles discussing diversity from all ends of the spectrum. But more important than words in a newspaper is action on campus. After the racial incidents of fall 2004, the school formed a task force that formed an ombuds network, which acts as a liaison between those who wish to file complaints and the appropriate authorities. The Coalition for Diverse Education has been sponsoring forums to discuss the departure of many professors of color. Tomorrow, Dr. Abbie Robinson-Armstrong is facilitating a discussion about the benefits of a more diverse university faculty.

We can talk about diversity until we're blue in the face. We can make rainbow stickers to try to rid this campus of homophobia, we can create t-shirts that say "Discrimination Affects Me," and we can even spend months amending the ASLMU constitution to include diversity in the responsibilities of the V.P. for social justice. But diversity isn't one person's responsibility, it's everyone's.

To really be diverse on campus, we need to open our minds and gain some new perspectives. Stop talking about diversity; instead, if you're Mexican, join the Black Student Union. If you're white, join Asian and Pacific Islander Association. If you're male, stop in on one of the meetings for Nuestra Alma Latina. No matter your sexual preference(s), join the Gay Straight Alliance.

One does not have to be a minority, homosexual, disabled or otherwise to support equality and diversity. The best way to do it is to learn about other people, other cultures and other perspectives on this campus and in this community.
[via Los Angeles Loyolan:]
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