Open forum creates space for important, controversial topics
Eddie Solis Jr.
THE SANTA CLARA
February 27, 2014
The Multicultural Center has been facilitating the Difficult Dialogues series about the current increasing diversity among students at Santa Clara.
The MCC introduced a new discussion series this quarter, Difficult Dialogues — “#BeingInclusiveatSCU.” The weekly forums encourage conversation and reflection about identity and inclusion at Santa Clara. The topics comprise of different aspects of identity, ranging from race, gender, ability, sexual orientation and more.
“The topics that we chose all revolve around themes that we want to see our students talking about,” said Denise Castillo Chavez, director of the MCC.
The idea for the series was created by the Inclusive Excellence Committee, which aims to promote inclusivity and diversity in our community.
The forum begins with the signing of a permission slip that ensures a safe space for participants, followed by a group activity, a small group session and an open discussion.
The forums have been steadily increasing in popularity, with more than 25 students, faculty and staff attending the last discussion.
Veronica Solorio, a junior sociology and ethnic studies major, said opportunities like these are necessary on campus and that she is excited for future discussions.
“Spaces like these, where we hear first-hand from different groups, really help people who aren’t in those groups to understand the issues and gain new perspective,” said Solorio.
Castillo Chavez recognizes that not everyone feels open about these concerns.
“Sometimes students feel uncomfortable talking about these things because sometimes they’re afraid they might say something wrong and they’ll offend somebody,” she said. “But that shouldn’t discourage us from talking about these issues.”
The next discussion will be themed “#BeingWhiteatSCU.” The events run every Thursday night. For more information, visit the Multicultural Center’s website.
Contact Eddie Solis Jr. at firstname.lastname@example.org .