Carleton College's student newspaper since 1877

The Carletonian

The Carletonian

The Carletonian

Diversity and representation

<lass="page layoutArea" title="Page 7">

“I believe we should represent Carleton proportionally. Carleton is predominately white. It makes sense that the Senate is majority white. There isn’t a lot of diversity.”

Reading a post on Overhead at Carleton that someone on the CSA senate would say something so discriminatory and re-reading the CSA minutes later, I was genuinely shocked. After shock came anger. I was angry at this institution for deluding me into believing it was something it was not. I was angry at the students and faculty for advocating Carleton as inclusive and open for all during the times I visited as a prospie. I was angry at the people during New Student Week who required all the freshmen to attend diversity training and portray Carleton as this near perfect haven for all that are different.

As much as Carleton pushes for diversity, the rational part of my brain knew that not every person on this campus, especially those who come from homogenous backgrounds, would share those same views.

Already plagued with the continuous feeling of not belonging on this campus, I thought it was only my own insecurities getting to me. After reading this statement, it turns out my reservations about this campus weren’t only in my head. Although a majority of the Senate is filled with open-minded people who are sincerely interested in the good of all the students and are worried about where this school is going in terms of its diversity, those views were obviously not unanimous.

According to a student attending the meeting the statement “…was not followed by this booming disagreement.” He continued: “Why are we allowing people to be in these positions that are our representatives for the student body who essentially bring down the goal of our community?”

Everyone on this campus should have the right to feel like we belong at Carleton, that we are not just occupying space or simply acting as numbers trying to fill in a certain quota to make Carleton appear inclusive. We are here to be what Carleton and the goals of CSA advocate for, therefore, how can someone be allowed to say that minority voices don’t hold the same importance?

According to Tiffany Thet ‘17, who attended a meeting to express her indignation: “CSA is like a sample that represents Carleton’s campus, but I think there is something wrong with a sentiment that thinks that we should exclude other communities and their voices. CSA senate makes the decisions that affect everyone on campus. How can you have a CSA senate that represents all the voices if not all the voices are in that room? CSA is supposed to work with that system but sentiments like the ones we heard from that meeting show it’s not working like that. We’re not asking for a witch hunt. Despite the fact that comment had racial overtones, no community should be excluded because it’s not there in numbers. This is our home away from home and I don’t want to be in a home where I distrust the people who are making decisions for us.”

As Tiffany also said: “Things will only change if someone tries. If you run for office and you get it that means you are the voice on a community on campus or even several. You can be that person that says I have the interests of this community on campus and can represent what it means to be a person of color, what it means to be a woman on campus, what it means to be LGBTQ, what it means to be an environmentalist. You have that voice.”

I’m speaking to all the underrepresented communities on campus. If you want change to happen, do it yourself. We can’t rely on other people who don’t represent us to make the best decisions for us. Run for CSA senate, or simply attend meetings. Do whatever it takes to get your voice heard.

Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

All The Carletonian Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *