Staff Editorial

Last Friday, the Office of Multicultural Affairs and the ethnic studies program sponsored an Identity Forum in the Wriston auditorium. We were both impressed and happy to see the large student turnout and strong faculty support.
As feminist activist Jennifer Baumgardner noted in her convocation address, diversity may not be the easiest thing for a costly liberal-arts college in the middle of Wisconsin to achieve. But, as she also pointed out, Lawrence has made many strides towards this goal in the recent past.
The administration, with the help of donors and trustees, has done well to make a Lawrence education possible for students who might never have considered a liberal arts education, whether they are international students, members of the Posse program or otherwise. Student groups such as Lawrence International and GLOW add to the environment on campus by making diversity something to be shared and celebrated.
Activities such as the Identity Forum, Latin American Week, and speakers such as Jennifer Baumgardner help remind students that, as Assistant Professor Jake Frederick pointed out during the Identity Forum, it is a common misconception that there is only one type of Lawrentian.
As anyone who attended the Identity Forum would readily understand, Lawrentians differ in more than just shapes and sizes. Our backgrounds, interests, opinions and activities are what make us who we are; understanding this and becoming comfortable with ourselves as individuals is key to “cultivation of sound judgment … respect for the perspectives of others … and personal fulfillment,” three key aspects of Lawrence’s stated mission.
We would like to reiterate Acting Assitant Dean Mohammad Bey’s reminder that the Office of Multicultural Affairs is a great resource if you are looking to learn about other cultures or wanting to investigate questions about your own identity, as well as pass on his invitation to make good use of its facilities.

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