In lieu of Black History Month, the topic of diversity is more aware among the students.

This time of the year, I usually sit back and reflect on the diversity at the University.

I am sure you remember orientation, when it was stressed that the University has a diverse campus.

Diversity here has been one of the University’s selling points in the last 10 years.

Unfortunately, many students look at the university’s claim of diversity as a ploy for enrollment.

Students laugh at the thought of campus being incredibly diverse, but despite popular belief, I disagree.

According to dictionary.com, diversity is the state or quality of being different or varied. Wait, what? Diversity isn’t just the differences between races?

The common misconception is that diversity is only the difference in peoples’ race.

This is where some students are extremely naive.

Not only does diversity account for differences in race and ethnicity, it can account for a slew of other traits in a person.

Diversity can be a difference in physical appearances, ideas, learning styles, abilities, personality, fashion, etc.

Now knowing that diversity can be measured by attributes other than race, the University does not seem to be lacking in diversity, and neither does the rest of the world.

As we all sat through those orientation sessions, most of us giddy with excitement, others yawning because they got up extremely early that morning, we couldn’t help but hear that the University is diverse.

Okay, we get that now, but why do we care?

Believe it or not, the University is not the first school to promote diversity on its campus.

Hundreds of colleges across the country are working on enabling its students to recognize diversity around them to further educate its students in the social aspect of the real world.

diversity2Many students sit here and ask themselves, “Why do I have to have diversity thrust in my face while I am at school?”

The reason the University and all other higher education establishments drill diversity into the heads of their students is simple: diversity is everywhere around us.

Whether it is at school, the supermarket, or in a high profile office in New York City, you will most definitely encounter diversity.

Even while talking a casual walk down the street you can encounter individuals with different levels of diversity.

Another reason why we learn about diversity is the difference in the college environment and home.

Being from a small town in Northern New Jersey, I never made a conscious effort to recognize diversity. I am from an Italian-American family that is as normal as a family can be these days.

The town population is mostly individuals of Caucasian descent, but as I stated earlier, diversity is not solely measured by race.

Unfortunately, I do not have the luxury of walking through my town, like we stroll through campus, in order to recognize these diversities around me.

The college lifestyle allows students for growth and development in diversity.

If you think about it, going to college can open individual’s eyes to all different kinds of people.

Just walking around campus on a Monday you may encounter many different kinds of diversity in the form of fashion, religion, race, and personality.

Perhaps the most prominent element of diversity is dorm living. In a dorm you may be forced to live with another individual or two.

That living arrangement can cause extreme culture shock.

So remember the next time you hear someone saying that campus is not diverse at all, ask them to take a walk around campus and show them diversity is not only measured by the color of someone’s skin.