More On Multicultural Reform

I’ve got a story in this week’s print issue about Boca Governor Allison Gentry‘s new BSU&MP reform committee. As always, our art director Lindsey Voltoline makes sure it looks best on the page, but you can also read it online here.

For those of you just joining the blog looking for the posts on BSU&MP, the first one’s here, and from there you’ll see they’re all linked together. Happy reading.

When you’re done with that, you might be interested in reading former representative Sai Lo‘s take on the Twitter controversy. He e-mailed me last week and now seems like the most appropriate time to share those remarks, which you can read in full here.

As for the Facebook group mentioned in the new article, it’s here, though I’m not sure if it’s public yet. I was invited at 3:14 a.m. this morning. There are nine members and not much else to see yet, and it says this in the privacy section:

Secret: No public content. Members can see all content. Not displayed on members’ profiles.

But anyway, I’d like to expand on a point made by Representative Boris Bastidas in this week’s article — the suggestion that some cultural clubs are being left out. What counts as a cultural club?

The Office of Multicultural Affairs provides a partial list, but — speaking of being left out — I notice the list is alphabetical and ends abruptly at “M.” What’s missing?

Turns out Student Involvement and Leadership actually keeps a pretty well-organized list these days. A search under “multi-cultural” turns up 32 clubs — and doesn’t entirely match up with OMA’s list.

Here’s a chart (click for full size) I made comparing the two:

This raises several questions, such as:

  • What counts as a cultural club?

If all these count, the reform committee has a lot of work cut out for it.

  • And as Representative Guilherme Massetti raised, is “cultural” different from “multi-cultural”? In other words, which of these actively seek to promote understanding and sharing of cultures, and which are just celebrating a specific culture?

For example, look at how many different Christian groups there are here. Uh, do they hang out and intermingle with other religion-oriented groups, or do they hate each other? Or does each even know the other exists? At what point does “diversity” just become a bunch of people self-absorbed with their own self-segregated “culture,” and is there anything a “multicultural programming” organization can do about it?

  • Are there any missing from both lists?

There are quite a few other clubs on SIL’s list not categorized as “multicultural,” but some of them seem to have diversity-driven missions. Take “A Youthful Soul,” categorized as a “special interest” club:

The organization is dedicated to give youths ranging in ages from 13-24 in all walks of life, different backgrounds, and nationalities an opportunity to share and overcome their struggles in an outreach organization through civic, charitable, political, health, and wellness endeavors facilitating both community and service projects.

Or what about Lamba United, not included in either list and also categorized as “special interest”:

Lambda United strives to serve the needs of the gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgendered/transsexual, queer/questioning and intersex and straight allies community of Florida Atlantic University, the needs of Florida Atlantic University at large and the needs of all students, alumni, and staff interested in gaining knowledge and understanding about the gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgendered/transsexual, queer/questioning and intersex and straight allies community.

That sounds like a pretty inclusive mission focused on building community and understanding, right? Or are culture and diversity at FAU limited to ethnic and religious dimensions? That would explain the exclusion of Owls Supporting Diversity as well, which has a mission

to transform the public perception of people with disabilities, to show that all students have an impact on campus and community issues, and to promote equality for all individuals.

Peace Studies Student Association? Students for Israel? Students for Women and Gender Equality? Vedanta Society? I don’t know how active most of these are, frankly, but I’m not sure what makes them “special interest” compared to some of these other organizations… Do you?

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3 Responses to “More On Multicultural Reform”

  1. Jesse Jarrett Says:

    Disgusting – nobody wants to hear about Sai Lo and Marni Sherman’s sex acts. Two of the most repulsive people that I have ever met –

  2. An excellent follow-up post and a very interesting comparison. Perhaps a confused and confusing Department of Student Media Department is just part of a larger disturbing pattern at FAU…

    Nice work,
    Karla

  3. It is about time Pollock got straightened out. He prances around thinking he is some hot shit by having all of these titles that aren’t going to get him anywhere. Being in a sorority, I actually spoke to some of his own brothers about him being president and he doesn’t do shit. Again, he just wants the title of the first prezzz of his frat and makes up shit along the way and expects everyone else to do the work for him so he looks good when he puts his name on it.

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