Do Minorities Feel Included at Catholic University?
Op-Ed by Lizetthe Moreno
Although there are multiple organizations designed to promote cultural inclusion on campus such as FOCUS, SOL and BSA, it is important to ask, do minorities actually feel included at Catholic University?
The month of October is National Hispanic Heritage month and National Filipino American History month. There were many events across campus to highlight the beauty of these cultures. For National Hispanic Heritage month, SOL hosted “Noche de Estrellas,” and the The Department of Modern Languages showcased iconic latin films throughout the month. FOCUS, Catholic University’s Filipino group, hosted Misa y Fiesta, or, “Mass and Feast.”
But what about the other months of the year? What about the minorities who identify with a culture that does not have an established month of celebration in the U.S. It is no secret that the majority of the population at Catholic University is Caucasian.
“School as a whole doesn’t embrace minorities who don’t get involved with those cultural groups such as SOL,” said sophomore Daniela Cortes. “I feel like people that are predominantly white don’t put in effort in learning about minorities and their culture.”
In contrast, some students feel as though Catholic University does put in effort.
“The fact that different groups of minorities are allowed to celebrate their heritage shows that Catholic University supports minorities. It is evident when students set up their tables at the pryz, they share the richness of their culture,” said Friar Alejandro M. Arias. “Catholic University is a welcoming University that practices what the holy scripture teaches us. ‘Therefore welcome one another as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God.’”
Although some say that being at a Catholic school can make the inclusivity of a diverse student population difficult to attain, Catholic University is working towards being an inclusive environment.
“Having gone to private Catholic schools for most of my life, I definitely know what it is like to not be included and have been able to find my friend group, family, and that inclusive CUA community,” said junior Donald Michel.
It is clear that the way students perceive inclusion on campus is based on the involvement of student organizations and finding those communities that align with their culture is important.
As college students, it can be hard to make a place that it far from home feel like home, especially if you are a minority. It seems to be that Cathlic University has checked the boxes for cultural inclusivity. There is an office of cultural engagement, multiple cultural organizations, weekly events, and anyone of any ethnicity is welcomed to partake in these events and organizations. So, how can Catholic University be more inclusive?
“The next step for CUA is to showcase more minority students in influential and significant positions,” said junior Jamal Gauthier. “Minority students need to be assured that their potential for success is just as high as any other student who walks through the doors of CUA.”
We are all here to learn more, do more and be more. Where one comes from does not dictate where one will go. Our time at Catholic University is limited and it is upon us, the student body, to ensure this community embodies the best part of who we are. As we go about our day-to-day routines, it is important to strive to make everyone feel welcomed and take into consideration the richness of the differences we share.