Campus Community Discusses Diversity

The United Diversity Summit is an annual event that sponsors inclusive collaboration amongst diversity-focused clubs on campus to strategize ways in which to reach their short- and long-term goals in the upcoming academic year. Tyson West and Layth Krueger moderated the event, focusing on identifying commonalities, picking a commonality and then creating a solution we can support in the 2015-2016 school year.

This focus was the overall theme of the event, but the inclusive, open collaboration of the people in attendance flowed more organically into the root of specific issues and ways to address them.

These issues ranged from why the majority of the campus—who are white upper-middle class students—isn’t getting involved with the goals and conversations that many of these clubs are presenting, to why there isn’t a strong sense of community on this campus or with Tacoma.

Nakisha Renée Jones, president of the Black Student Union, brought up several of the goals the BSU was working on, most importantly increasing the acceptance and retention of underrepresented minorities on the Puget Sound campus.

Many of the students displayed and offered a great representation of resolve with ways to achieve these goals. Jensen Handwork, a sophomore, even quoted a TED Talk in relation to encourage students to get involved in the cause.

Handwork referenced Simon Sinek’s talk, “How Leaders Inspire Action,” which argues that leaders and movements are not successful on what or how they achieve their goals, but why they want to achieve those goals in the first place.

This idea transitioned the group into a collaborative discussion onto the mission of the groups as a collective, such as fostering community, reuniting with Tacoma and furthering education and accountability.

Along with mission building events, in the future we can look forward to orientation institutional changes, dinners focused on diversity, music shows (specifically hip-hop), Tacoma and the campus community bridge-building events and the implementation of new student governmental roles that focus on the issues presented.