Sravya Chirumamilla’s column in today’s Daily, “Awash with like colors,” is a discussion of racial and ethnic communities’ relative isolation on our campus – both socially and academically. She incidentally cites me in the story, I suppose for my participation in the excellent SAAN conference earlier in the semester. While I don’t agree with everything she says, I am glad she wrote the column and I hope it sparks some discussion:
” … The most alarming result of this segregation is the lack of discourse on the subject: Everyone notices it, but no one wants to address it. Caught up in the year-long season of cultural shows, students do not have the time or the interest to add such discussions to the daily juggle of dance practice, school, work and social interactions.
Discussions organized by minority groups, useful in examining the many perspectives on campus, are not met with a substantial response, as few members attend. When IASA invited members to an open dialogue about race issues, I was the only person not on the board who attended. Similarly, when the South Asian Awareness Network organized an event with widely regarded professors and media personalities, fewer than 10 people attended. Naturally, these discouraging turnouts hinder the groups’ willingness to organize such events. … “