SXU Celebrates Diversity Awareness Week

Shadia Judeh

November 8th, 2017

Diversity Week Nov. 6-10 – Photo Credit: SXU Student Activities

Saint Xavier University is celebrating Diversity Awareness Week on campus during the week of November  6 through the 10. SXNews stated, “SXU embraces the diversity of its community. Students, faculty and staff are encouraged to be proud of their identities, as well as accept others.”

The week will be hosted by Student Activities and other organizations such as Campus Ministry, Saint Xavier Council, Spectrum Alliance, and Operation Humanity. The week will be filled with events that will help educate the SXU community on diversity.

On Monday, November 6, students were welcomed to attend the Diversity Week Photo Campaign in SXU’s Diner Atrium from 11 A.M.-1 P.M. Students were able take a photo and write an encouraging message to promote and explore diversity within the SXU community. This event will continue until Friday, November 10.

Senior Maria Bustamante stated, “As a Latina, it makes me feel honored that everyone comes together [during] Diversity Week to demonstrate [that] SXU is very diverse and that it doesn’t matter what color your skin, SXU doesn’t discriminate.”    

On Monday, the day continued with the “Fit In or Stay Out” event hosted by African-American Studies Diaspora Club. From 2 P.M- 3 P.M., students learned about Trump’s Refugee Reform. Students also learned about how President Trump’s administration is trying hard to decrease those trying to seek refuge in the USA.

The events continued soon after when the Campus Ministry held the Open Arms event. The event celebrated the diverse practices of faith through the art of speed dating in the Wiseman Student Lounge from 3 P.M.-5 P.M. Participants learned about various religious and spiritual customs.

On Tuesday, November 7, from 3 P.M.- 5 P.M., adjunct history professor, Daniel Davis, Ph.D., facilitated the event entitled “Real Niggas, Lame Niggas, Bad Bitches, and Thots: A Student Panel Discussion on Youth Relationships” at McGuire Hall.    

According to the student activities page, “The panel discussed the focus on societal perceptions of sexuality, masculinity, femininity and race as they pertain to youth relationships.”

Davis stated, “ I hope that students will learn the history behind the hurtful and derogatory terms “Nigga” and “Bitch” and “Thot” that are so common in the language of youth today.

Further, I hope students  that use these terms will get a better understanding of why many are offended by them and how they contribute to negative stereotypes about women and people of color.”

Students are excited for the week to progress as Bustamante stated, “I believe that the University offers so much diversity. it’s one of the many reasons I decided to go to SXU.             

“I do believe that SXU’s student population is diverse, but I’m not so sure about it’s faculty/staff population. My students have repeatedly voiced their displeasure about the low number of African American faculty and staff at SXU, particularly full-time faculty.

I am however encouraged to see such a vast array of races and ethnicities represented by students on campus. The presence of so many different cultures creates a rich environment and this provides us with great opportunities to explore each others traditions, practices, and histories.” continued Davis        

SXU student Jaraed Thomas helped set up the events. Thomas stated, “ During Diversity week, I hope the students will be able to understand the importance of intersectionality and that embracing their identities are important.

In addition, the unique combination of these identities is something to share and provides a plethora of perspectives to interacting in our world.”

Events will continue throughout the week with the Oxam Hunger Banquet on Wednesday, November 8 in the Fourth Floor Board Room at 5:30 P.M.-7 P.M. SXNews reported that during the event, “they will use food to explore the inequalities in socioeconomic status and how power and privilege trap people in our community and around the world in a cycle of poverty.”   

Oxam is a global organization working to end the injustice of poverty. Their website states, “Our mission is to tackle the root causes of poverty and create lasting solutions.”

Students should RSVP to the event through  The Den as space is limited. To learn more about Oxam, visit them at www.Oxamamerica.org.

On Thursday, November 9, from 11 A.M.- 1 P.M., Student  Activities will be hosting the “We are First” event. The purpose of the event is to celebrate both students and faculty members who identify as first-generation college students.

They will share how they navigated the college environment and provide resources to current first-generation students in the Wiseman Student Lounge.

Senior Communications and Spanish major, Alondra Fonseca spoke to SXU through student profiles about scholarships and stated, “As a first-generation college student, having a scholarship has allowed me to be a trailblazer for other family members.”

Alondra Delfin, an early childhood education major, said, “Scholarships have given me the opportunity to receive a higher education and become a first-generation college student in my family.”

Thursday afternoon, the Wiseman Student Lounge will also be where the Conflicting Identities Panel event will be held. Students will be able to connect with the Spectrum Alliance from 4:30-6:30 P.M. for a panel discussion about intersecting identities with panelists from the SXU community.

The week of events will wrap up with the Queer Spirituality event on Thursday evening at 7 P.M. in the Wiseman Student Lounge, hosted by Campus Ministry and Spectrum Alliance Club.

The Spectrum Alliance club promotes the acceptance of diversity throughout SXU. They provide a safe and secure environment for the members of the LGBTQIA+ community.

The two organizations will be collaborating for a discussion for the SXU community. Participants will explore how their faith, gender identity, and sexual orientation align to nourish their souls and aid them in life’s journey.

For more information on diversity week, please contact the Office of Student Life at (773) 298-397.

Shadia Judeh

News Reporter

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