This discussion was the latest in the MRC’s Elephant in the Room Dialogues, a continuing series of events designed to raise healthy intercultural dialogue among students at the College by creating safe, open spaces in which such dialogue can take place.
“As an institution, we often speak about the potential of using diversity as an educational tool but find the means to do so to be less than what we’d like,” said Andy Tew ’07, coordinator of the MRC. “The dialogues facilitate comfortable and sometimes intimate self-disclosure between students who might not otherwise have a chance to meet or hear one another’s stories.”
“Through speaking with each other, we hope students can hear multiple sides of the story and become more aware of issues that they may not even know exist.”
During the 2009-2010 academic year the MRC hosted five dialogues on topics which included whiteness, socioeconomic class, gender and body issues. A previous Elephant in the Room dialogue this semester focused on the prevalence of the jock stereotype on campus.
The MRC plans to hold three more Elephant in the Room dialogues this year, as well as a community-wide open forum on Dec. 8. One of the goals for this forum is to generate discussion about the issues that the next president of the College should be aware of as he or she steps into office.
The MRC also sponsors Identity Magazine, which is published once per semester. Identity Magazine gives students the opportunity to share their stories through a safe and anonymous forum. The MRC is currently working on this semester’s edition and will be accepting submissions until Friday, Oct. 29.