Last year, Rebecca Hernandez, former associate dean of intercultural development and educational partnerships, told a group of student leaders that they needed to step outside of their comfort zone.
Hernandez referenced Martin Luther King Jr.’s idea of a “world house.” This house is something that we’ve all inherited as Goshen students and that we must take care of as we find ways to live together in peace.
I believe Hernandez reminded us of this idea because of the obvious divisions between students at Goshen.
Some divides are because of majors and disciplines.
Some are because of age, as apartments and group housing are removed from the daily activity of the dorms and connectors.
Unfortunately, some divides come from larger issues in our community and society.
The “-isms” of society are apparent on our campus, and they’ve been brought to our attention multiple times.
I, along with many others at Goshen, am guilty of spending time with the same similar-looking group of people during meals at The Rott, Kick-Off, CAC events, and even during convocation and chapel.
The divides on campus separate us from our “other.”
There are many solutions to this issue, even if most seem too big and too complicated to take on.
Living in our world house together and doing it peacefully is a large and important goal.
A goal with many steps.
But, nonetheless, an attainable goal.
I’m proposing one particular step.
This Friday, Club Day will take place.
Beginning at 9 a.m., clubs from all over campus, representing all walks of life, will set up booths with information and signup sheets.
Your opportunity for a first step towards living peacefully in this world house is to sign up for a club mailing list.
Then, you need to show up to club events.
You need to go to a club you may not know anyone in or know anything about.
Walk through the door, interact with someone new, and let yourself feel uncomfortable.
Put yourself in the situation to cross divides, to get to know someone you would never see in class or sit with at The Rott.
It’s not easy, but living with these divides on campus shouldn’t be either.
Be intentional about acknowledging this issue and trying to make it better.
Club Day may be a step that feels small or insignificant, but it’s a step that we as a campus need to take in order to recognize with whom we share our world house.