Diversity Breakfast promotes Marshall’s growing multicultural status

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Diversity Breakfast promotes Marshall’s growing multicultural status

Caitlin Fowlkes

Caitlin Fowlkes

Caitlin Fowlkes

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Marshall University’s students and faculty came together Friday at the annual Diversity Breakfast in the Don Morris Room at the Memorial Student Center.
Intercultural Affairs collaborated with student organizations and other college departments to celebrate diversity on Marshall’s campus.
The theme for the event this year was “We Are the World.”
“We are more diverse now than we were two years ago, especially with the influx of our new foreign students,” said Dean of Students Stephen Hensley. “We work hard all year to make sure that our student population reflects or exceeds the diversity in our state.”
Hensley and the rest of the planning committee invited every organization and department on campus to join together and remember why diversity is an important issue.
“I attended the Diversity Breakfast because I introduced the guest speaker, Dr. Eduardo Pino,” sophomore Luke Cooley said. “Also, it was a great time for all colleges and departments throughout the university to come together and focus on the issue of diversity here at our school. Diversity is a big matter here at Marshall, and it should be at every university.”
Anthony Bady, sophomore business management major, said he was happy to represent the organizations that invited him to the event.
“I was invited to attend this event through my affiliations with the Campus Activity Board, JMELI, and the Society of Black Scholars, who all have a representing table at the Diversity Breakfast,” Bady said.
Students and faculty agreed the Diversity Breakfast was a good representation of what Marshall’s diversity is like on campus.
“We are diverse not just with ethnicity, but with organizations too,” Bady said.  “We have over 200 organizations for students to get involved with on campus. We also have a pretty big base of international students, including the INTO program, which has over 20 countries whose international students attend Marshall. This really shows how diverse our campus is from all angles.”
Sophomore volunteer usher Shelby McKeand said during her years at Marshall, she realized how diverse the university is.
“I’ve notice throughout my time here that several different religions are represented on campus and several different ethnicities,” McKeand said. “Nobody is left out, everybody gets their say and everyone gets their chance.”

We have over 200 organizations for students to get involved with on campus. We also have a pretty big base of international students, including the INTO program, which has over 20 countries whose international students attend Marshall. This really shows how diverse our campus is from all angles.

– Anthony Bady, sophomore business management major

McKeand said diversity at Marshall was a culture shock.
“The school I attended back home was predominantly white,” McKeand said. “I was never exposed to diversity until I came to Marshall University. When I came here it was a bit of a shock to see all of the different people from other countries and different backgrounds who were very different from me. It was nice seeing everyone so open about diversity, and it was definitely a new experience for me.”
Cooley said even though Marshall is diverse, there is always room for improvement.
“You can always increase programs here at the university,” Cooley said. “You can bring in more students from different countries, and not only enhance their academic experience, but enhance other students experience while they are here as well.”
Graduate student Jonathan Austin said there are several ways to further increase diversity at Marshall.
“I think we need to mingle with different cultures,” Austin said. “A lot of us stick to cliques, and we stick with what we know. Most of us do not venture off and get to know people who look different than us, so to improve it, I have to work on it individually and start with changing myself.”
Hensley said diversity is more than the color of people’s skin.
“Diversity is not defined by the color of people’s skin, but by their backgrounds and their experiences,” Hensley said.
Bady also said diversity refers to more than just ethnicity.
“I define diversity as just being a well-rounded group or person,” Bady said. “If you’re diverse in your public speaking, in your articulation of things and being knowledgeable on political aspects, or maybe even common sports jargon, I think that makes you diverse.”
Nichole Henderson can be contacted at [email protected]

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