Student comments from 2013 diversity-themed events

Michael Fosberg one-man performance, “Incognito”

"It seems absurd, when there is so much diversity, to distinguish people based on one thing or another (i.e. race, sexuality, gender, etc.). No two individuals are the same and I think it’s time we start to recognize that. Fosberg put it nicely during the Q&A session after his performance, ‘There’s more diversity within the categories than there is between them.’"

Kip Fulbeck

“The way Kip Fulbeck identifies himself isn’t necessarily how another ‘Asian-American’ individual would identify. Fulbeck’s an artist, a slam poet, and a father. Classifications, while they tend to make some of our lives easier, can’t ever grasp the full picture.
[The talk made me] a lot more understanding of Fulbeck’s point that there ‘is no biologetical evidence for race,’ and that ethnicity is really the marker of identity that individuals should discuss. [I] realize that people are diverse in so many ways that you can never find two people who are the exact same. While that may seem very divisive, I think it opens up a world of possibilities."

Another student who attended Kip Fulbeck

“The knowledge I have taken away from this presentation has allowed me to open my mind to the fact that I have no idea the history of other people. I tend to make snap judgments on people and create definitions of individuals purely based on visual aspects. However, when stripped of everything visual (like how Kip only took pictures of the people from the shoulders up) I can begin to open my eyes and learn the truth behind these individuals. I feel inspired to learn more about people on Elon’s campus through asking questions and spending time with them rather than keep my distance because they are ‘different.’ This presentation was extremely powerful and allowed me to analyze how I perceive myself and other individuals.”

International Civil Rights Museum

“After realizing how privileged I have been my whole life and looking at the world through the eyes of someone who has had to deal with very little adversity, I will go through life a little more conscious of how I treat other people so that in fifty years people will not be looking in a museum in horror at the way that I treated a group of people different from me.”

“Understanding the Hajj”

“I have learned that I do not know very much when it comes to religions outside of my own and I do not try to look at other religions very in-depthly. With this new knowledge, I have a [more] nuanced appreciation for Islam and its cultural and social influence and I now greatly want to learn about practices of other religions.”

Ginn and Jews: Jewish Baking

“I learned that being Jewish is not only a religious affiliation but a cultural one as well. Many people can identify as Jewish culturally and not practice Judaism religiously.”

Carl McIntyre, “Hope is a Four-Letter Word”

“There are a diverse number of stories and faces in the disabled community, and McIntyre is just one member of it….I have learned more about myself through McIntyre’s presentation. While I do not have a disability, McIntyre’s presentation was relevant to my life and my hope for personal progress. All of us struggle with hindrances, whether they be disabilities or other unfortunate circumstances, but these hardships are a part of our identity.”

Todd Drake’s photography exhibit, “But Do You Know a Muslim?”

“To assess an idea or a message for validity or honesty takes effort. Todd Drake’s photography and message has reminded me to challenge the messages thrown at me. I think this wake-up call will affect the way I learn in the future as I work to transition from a somewhat passive listener to a more active one.”

“Christians: Dealing with Differences”

“I learned that Protestant churches have a wide [range of] views on what is accepted when it comes to homosexuals…..After this meeting I think I will look at my faith more to see what we believe and why we believe it. This I think will make me stronger overall….Moving forward I will just be more educated, and that is always a good thing.”

Elon production of Cloud Nine

“I did feel a little uncomfortable at first watching a man play a woman. It was odd that the other characters in the play acknowledged him as a woman when he was clearly not what the social norm would portray. As the play progressed it made me think about gender roles in today’s society and if it would actually matter if a man dressed and acted as a woman and led a happy life.”

“Elon Cares” performance

“HIV/AIDS is the same disease whether a gay man in New York City or a child in Africa contracts it. Not everyone who contracts the virus fits one category, and it is not always contracted in the same manner. It is easy to group people when they are different from you, even if you feel no direct prejudice toward them. The simple lack of understanding puts them in a totally different category. After the event I will work harder to open my eyes to the differences in people, specifically involving HIV/AIDS, but hopefully all around as well. Learning and understanding are the first battles in accepting everyone for who they are.”