Florida Atlantic University's first student-run news source.


Florida Atlantic University's first student-run news source.


Florida Atlantic University's first student-run news source.


Expression: A multi-cultural look at college life

I attended Hunter College (a mini United Nations) in New York City last year, and felt at home as I was surrounded by an ethnic spectrum of students. It was a tremendous change from the monotonous West Palm Beach palette I accustomed myself into for eleven years.

When I returned to Florida, I did not think that I was going to encounter the degree of diversity in Palm Beach County that I had known at Hunter. A campus visit to Florida Atlantic University’s Boca campus proved that I was wrong.

I could not recall hearing such a mishmash of languages and seeing such varied faces as I breezed through the university. I thought to myself, diversity does not only belong to New York City. And so, on the recommendation of FAU’s Student Government Director of Multicultural Affairs, Jean-Philippe “JP” Dabady, I met with the University Press’s executive editor, and shortly after, a new column was launched for the multifarious voices of FAU’s students-Expression.

Expression is about you. It’s about the diversity issues that you confront everyday. It’s about positive influence. It’s about educating others on your cultural experiences whether you’re from Idaho, the Indies, Kazakhstan, Togo, or Estonia. It’s about inspiring others. It’s about challenging those around you to strive for that six-syllable word-multiculturalism.

Mentally accomplishing unified people are an ideal that may never be settled throughout our lifetime. Does this mean you should sit back, relax, and watch as others demean or justify superiority towards others through hate, ignorance, and fear?

If yes is the answer, then I have a few suggestions for you: I think you should start with hating yourself before deciding to hate on others; I think you should take the generalized negative statements you make towards others who “don’t look like you,” and then turn them on yourself; and I think you should walk outside of yourself one day, and imagine someone fearing you so much that they won’t even talk to your or look in your eyes because “you’re different.”

However, if you answered no, then I hope that you are an individual who will make a sincere effort to promote multiculturalism be it through participation with an organization, through your speech presentation, or just being yourself.

I made the United States my permanent home at the age of nine, coming from Haiti. It was throughout this residence in the States that my mother often told me to be proud of my Haitian culture. While I agree with her, I also believe that everyone should be proud of their culture-be it Asian, American, or African-because it’s what sets us apart and brings us together at the same time.

Having lived in the United States and traveled to several countries, I like to remind myself of how thankful I am to have encountered the variety of peoples this world has to offer. The clicking and clashing I have encountered with others has led me to better understand not only others, but also myself.

In the end, ethnic diversity will transcend your place of birth, geographical location, and racial appearance. While it isn’t the case for now, let us forge ahead in the meantime and strive to integrate one people, one face, and one expression.

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