Dining for Diversity welcomes students to their biweekly meetings to explore diversity and multiculturalism through the discussion of current local and national events. Sit down with students in an open environment and discuss issues that will impact students, and don’t forget to snack too!
So what exactly will you talk about? Political events, historic events, even television shows. Societal issues found in media leave room for students to talk about how it’s related to Rowan University.
Attending the January 25 meeting as a newcomer, I quickly learned that we must not only learn from one another, but understand each other to explore different points of view. What better way to do so but by having the comfort of being in a space that truly cultivates learning through acceptance and communication. I found that discussing such important matters with fellow students has broadened my horizons, making the experience truly eye-opening.
Dr. J. T. Mills, Assistant Director of the Multicultural and Inclusion Program, hosts this event to encourage students to engage and communicate about issues that will affect people in their personal, academic and social lives.
“We started this club seven or eight years ago so that students have opportunities to interact,” Mills explains. “I’d like for Rowan students to graduate with skills to communicate effectively cross-culturally, economically, racially, and about sexual orientation. This is about engagement.”
In light of the recent election, this particular Wednesday’s meeting focused on discussing the newest President of the United States and how his presidency will impact the country. The club’s dialogue was focused on why people think and feel the way they do.
Not surprisingly, freedom of speech was the topic that arose multiple times in the student-run discussion. Students questioned how media blackouts and journalistic writing will not only affect society, but also Rowan. Everyone’s opinions and expressions were valued, as open communication is the club’s ultimate goal.
“We have to be able to come to common ground. When we look back to the history of our country, when we don’t come to common ground there are catastrophic consequences. If we’re going to be for the future, and we’re going to continue to be a world leader, we have to be able to internally be with each other, for each other,” explains Dr. Mills.
The club hosts regularly scheduled, open discussions for students to engage in dialogue. Meetings are held every other Wednesday, from 5 to 7 p.m. in the Campbell Library, hosted by the Office of Social Justice, Inclusion & Conflict Resolution. Upcoming meetings with discuss the Holocaust and women’s rights month.
By: Jen Green, senior public relations major