Diversity. We've all heard the word and – whether you cringe when you hear it or want to shout with joy – diversity is an important aspect to the college experience at Grinnell. As a college, Grinnell has made diversity of the student body an important goal and I think this is great idea because it helps to challenge every student to accept new ideas, people, cultures, and languages.
Personally, this diversity of experiences has allowed for interesting dialogues when my ideas and beliefs are challenged. My own biases and ignorance can no longer be hidden. By forcing me to confront my biases, the diversity of Grinnell has helped to make me a better person. Without the diversity of opinions and beliefs created by the different upbringings of all the students here, I would never have been able to grow in such a way.
As a person who belongs to two different minority groups, Judaism and the LGBTQ community, it has been nice to hear others discuss and describe their experiences belonging to other minority groups. By hearing their stories, I have been able to find common ground, finding that we have more similarities in our experiences than we have differences. That we all feel that we are the spokespeople of our group, that sometimes we tire of that role, that we all simply want to belong. Whether we were black or white, Jewish or Muslim, gay or straight, from Ohio or from the plains of Uganda, we all have something to share and reasons to grow.