Chelsey – STARS (Part 3)




I come from a small town at the very bottom of Arkansas; it only contains 5,000 people and takes 10 minutes to drive all the way through. Growing up, I was not exposed to many that lived outside of my town. Sure, we had one foreign exchange student every year, but that was all. When I first started attending UCA, I lived in a dorm known as State Hall.

I did not know much about the dorm until I had already moved in—I did not expect that the dorm was mainly for foreign exchange students. It was specifically for those who were so far from home that, during holidays such as Christmas Break, they still needed to be able to live in the dorms or they would have nowhere else to stay. Living in State was my first experience with diversity in Residential Colleges. I was able to meet (and live next door to!) people from a plethora of different places, such as Africa and China. Meeting people from all around the world allowed me to be exposed to different religions, languages, and even foods! Then, at the end of the first semester, I changed dorms.

I currently live in Short/Denney, a dorm that focuses more on the arts. Don’t think the diversity among students is of lesser value here, on the contrary! Short/Denney contains plenty of students with different lifestyles. And it is not only the foreign exchange students who represent the diversity in the Residential Colleges– it is every single student who walks in the halls. Especially when it comes to religion, I have met Mormons, Christians, Buddhists, Atheists, Muslims, and so many more.

Meeting these people in Residential Colleges with all these different beliefs and values allows me to open my mind and try to see things from the eyes of others. Diversity is important for the college experience. Students have to learn that their ‘world’ isn’t the only one that exists, that open-mindedness is one of the many puzzle pieces that fit into a better future for everyone. Racism and prejudice only lead to needless conflict; I believe that the diversity in Residential Colleges helps students raised with slightly skewed views open their eyes. We can only reach as far as our mind is broad.

Speak Your Mind