Large-scale programming embraces diversity in practice

Our University has a diverse student body, but a criticism oft-levied at the makeup of this campus is that its different factions are prone to self-segregation. Though no amount of programming can fully solve this problem, structured collaboration between student groups is a good place to start.

Recently, we have noticed several large-scale events that demonstrate particularly effective forms of this type of collaboration. In particular, we want to commend the organizers of Hip-Hop Week, The Solution and Pluralism Week for their comprehensive efforts at uniting the interests of different student groups, and encouraging partnerships that are substantive and meaningful.

With hundreds of student groups and countless student interests, it is inevitable that good programs will overlap and students will be forced to choose between them. Rather than limit student programming, we believe that student groups should work together in innovative ways to create connected events that make an impact.

It is difficult to get the student body to unite behind large events—a cursory observation of attendance at our football games demonstrates this. However, programming such as The Solution, which took place in the Gargoyle last Friday and combined the efforts of Sigma Chi and ABS along with cultural groups such as Ashoka, combines the resources necessary to promote interactions between diverse members of our student body.

An attitude that embraces collaboration between student groups with diverse yet intersecting interests is becoming more commonplace on this campus, and we feel that this attitude is a move in the right direction for the student body. New programming for this year—specifically, Hip-Hop Week and Pluralism Week—brings together not only the planning efforts of different student groups, but unites the student body behind performances and events that hold mass appeal.

The collaboration behind these events goes beyond simply slapping as many group names onto a flyer as possible—instead, it comes from real and concerted dialogue between student leaders about what will best unite and entertain the student body. Additionally, groups have been asked to contribute according to their unique focus, rather than simply providing financial support. The events taking place during Hip-Hop week utilize the unique resources of different student talents, such as WU Cypher’s break-dancing performance and a fashion show featuring clothing designed by Wash. U. art students.

Large-scale, coordinated events that seek to unite the student body in such a way demonstrate what we hope is the beginning of enhanced dialogue and interactions within our student body, enabling us to embrace diversity in practice as well as in name.