We Are the World…in Part

To the Editor: I’ve heard people talking about the diversity here at UVM…do we have any? Does it actually exist? Most people say we don’t have enough diversity or any at all, but what is diversity? Is diversity just different ethic and religious groups? I took a quick look at Webster’s and diversity is just the condition of being distinct forms or qualities. Yet I know we aren’t satisfied by that definition. We do tend to think diversity has to do with ethnic backgrounds and whatnot, but why do we always specifically point to ethnicity when we talk about diversity? Colleges are proud of their “diversity.” They use this statistic of diversity to compare themselves to other institutions and to be published in school and national publications. It doesn’t bother me that they do that, but we do tend to look down on the diversity here at UVM. We, statistically, don’t have too, too much diversity, and some blame this on the state itself, holding the second lowest percentage of minorities in the US. However, I don’t like that explanation. I think that we do in fact have a much greater diversity than people think. We have a wide range of people who come from different states, countries and family backgrounds. We have people who love music and follow tours endlessly and jocks that power division one sports teams. We have those who wear canvas Carhartts and those who prefer the likeness of J. Crew and Abercrombie. You may say this isn’t the best argument, but I think the simplicity of the idea is what makes it work. It’s not like these are particularly great comparisons, but the idea of diversity is that a school of people come from different places and promote different styles and ideas living together as a community. The diversity issue can be as simple as us, UVM, being unaware that these inherent differences seem to just blend in, that these differences don’t paint a picture that diverges far from what diversity really is. But just think-what does the average UVM student look like?Dom Mattos Class of 2005