IUS distinguishes diversity

IUS Horizon

Channell Barbour, associate director of Campus Life, discusses issues involving campus diversity during a Spring Town Hall Meeting on April 3.

IU Southeast student leaders gathered along with other faculty and staff members for a Spring Diversity Town Hall meeting on April 3.

The purpose of the meeting was to target and approach the results from the diversity survey taken last semester, as well as if there were significant changes and how the can be addressed.

Issues such as sexual harassment, discrimination and social media were brought up. Students shared their personal experiences and thoughts while others came up with different suggestions on how to prevent such issues.

Brianne Miles, business senior and student leader for Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, said he thought the discussion did not go anywhere.

“More time is needed to clear these issues,” Miles said. “I agree with the language in the [Student Involvement Center] and how students need to respect one another by not using derogatory words.”

However, Seuth Chaleunphonh, dean of students and director of Campus Life said he believed the meeting went well.

“For the most part, students have responded positively to [the meeting],” Chaleunphonh said.

Chaleunphonh said, since these meetings are open to all students, this leaves an open forum for any student who has issues related to diversity, admissions or residence to speak at the meeting and with the coordinators.

“We have to learn how to not judge people just from what we physically see, and I think this issue affects us in every aspect of our lives,” Chaleunphonh said.

Games were also played to break the ice, and some brought up topics of how to feel comfortable in class as a different race, age and style.

There were also suggestions made from both students and faculty on how to have a diverse mind.

Due to the fact that IU Southeast is a diverse school, student leaders and faculty discussed how everyone has a different mentality and background based on how they were raised.

Channell Barbour, associate director of Campus Life, said these issues need to be approached in classes, such as First-Year Seminar, in order to get freshmen prepared for the college life or Senior Seminar classes to help prepare students for a career and the workforce.

Barbour said it is hard to get students interested because diversity is such a sensitive topic, but it is something that needs to be done as soon as possible.

“It’s a start for us but we need more,” Barbour said. “I hope honest to goodness we don’t ever get to the point where a tragedy occurs before we decide to become proactive.”