i Blog Post 4 | COLLEGE WRITING: DEBATE(S) IN HIGHER EDCUATION

Nevena Prebiracevic

As a Catholic liberal arts college, rooted in the Norbertine traditions of service and respect for the dignity of all people, St. Norbert College aspires to build a community which is intellectually, spiritually, and personally challenging and reflective of the diverse world we live in. However, with a student body that is 89% white with only 18 states and 10 countries represented; with faculty members like Wolfgang Grassl, whose open contempt for homosexuality communicates a particularly unwelcoming message; and, with the College’s emphasis on its private, Catholic roots, the college’s stated commitment to diversity and its sincerity is questionable. The lack of diversity on a college campus is problematic because, on the one hand, it fails to prepare students for the actual world they will live in; on the other, it suggests—if only inadvertently—that this Norbertine community may not be very welcoming to those who don’t fit a particular mold. In both instances, it harms the College’s educational mission and leaves everyone poorer. More »

Cecillia Clausen

Diversity does not mean the difference between skin color in the world, it also talks about the different cultures and beliefs people hold in the world. You can be a vegan, atheist, Lutheran, or even pro choice. You can be black, Chinese, or Pacific Islander it doesn’t matter the diversity is there and everyone should accept it. The Catholic churches should be the number one group who should accept the diversity into their church. More »

Solomon Brown

Its no secret that kids who come from families with less money have a harder time getting to college than those who come from families with more money. Wealthier students don’t have to worry about if they get enough financial aid and after all its more profitable for a university to offer $5,000 to a student from an affluent family than it is for them to offer a poorer student a $25,000 scholarship. However what I didn’t know was that on average minority students graduate at a lesser rate and with more debt than their Caucasian peers. How can this be the case? If we want to pride ourselves as a nation that gives everyone an equal opportunity, we need to make sure that our poor and minority students don’t graduate with more debt than their wealthier Caucasian counterparts. More »

Ruby Castillo

College is not only about getting an education but also to experience new things. In order to achieve this, college campuses must have diversity. Diversity is important because it allows for an increase in knowledge and helps in the preparation of future careers. Yet, according to the school website, St. Norbert only has a nine percent racially diverse community, three percent international student community and an eighty- nine percent Caucasian community. Schools that are affiliated with religion are allowing for diverse populations to happen. More »

Nolan Matson

I believe that diversity is an important factor in a liberal arts institution such as St. Norbert’s. According to the Mission Statement and one of the three traditions of St. Norbert: “St. Norbert College, a Catholic liberal arts college embracing the Norbertine ideal of communio, provides an educational environment that fosters intellectual, spiritual and personal development.” And “To uphold the sacred dignity of all persons.” This means that SNC believes that in Communio and the embracing of all different types’ people with their religions, beliefs, experiences and values together as one, to help create a greater good. However according to Wolfgang Grassl, a former professor who taught at SNC, he believes that diversity is not a catholic value: “No individual can be diverse, but only a collectivity. For logical reasons, it is impossible to recruit more “diverse” students, for no individual is diverse from himself or herself… There is no mention of diversity as a goal of Catholic life in the Catechism of the Catholic Church or in any of the pastoral, moral, or social constitutions and encyclicals before and after Vatican II.” Grassl is saying that, he believes that diversity cannot be a catholic value because individuals cannot be diverse from them own selves and that diversity is not mentioned in the goals of Catholic life. I would have to disagree with Mr. Grassl claim, if you were to have to have a school full of Caucasian people, who have the same background information, and similar beliefs/values then there would be no diversity from which someone can learn from. If anything, it is putting you at a disadvantage, because you are limiting yourself from being an overall better person and student. However, there is still room for improvement in diversity at St. Norbert’s. More »

Eric Bagg

Over the years, college campuses have become very diverse. More and more races are starting to make up a majority of the community. Here at St. Norbert, we have a relatively diverse campus. At other schools around the country that is a different story. Racial discrimination has been an ongoing problem across the country and it has resulted in protests and other violent acts that is sending our country back into a segregated community. St. Norbert should serve as a model to other schools to help break racial tension and bolster their community. More »

Andrew Luebke

Diversity is an important issue at every school. For some students the diversity of a school determines if a student will come to a college such as St. Norbert. For some, St. Norbert College does not offer a very diverse school. Although SNC is a great school with great education I believe diversity is a major problem that needs to be resolved. Diversity means “range of differences”. At SNC you primarily see white men and women throughout the college. A diverse campus is needed to create a more inclusive environment for every person regardless of race, gender, or ethnicity, etc. More »

D.J. Dickson

Diversity in a college community shows signs of having a positive effect on students. Diversity is being more and more common all over the world, not just in schools but in life. Society has come far with diversity and moving past segregation which is great. We have grown from slavery and segregation to diversity and mixed racial, religious or ethnic relationships. Without diversity, students would not get the chance to interact and get to know students of different ethnicities, religious beliefs and backgrounds, it helps expand social development and having the chance to interact with all kinds of students can help someone grow as a person and possibly change their perspective on race and religion and other things. We all come from different backgrounds and have experienced different situations, it is helpful to meet others who differ from you so you can change as a person for the better whether it be in handling situations or thoughts. Meeting new people can be a good experience for you to better yourself. Students have the chance to meet other students from different countries, social classes, who speak different languages and of different sexuality. Meeting other students like that can help better yourself because it is giving you knowledge and experience with new people who you haven’t experienced yet, and those students may become friends. More »

Caleb Lefeber

 

The extreme lack of diversity at Saint Norbert College is becoming more and more problematic.  But there are many people that believe the lack of diversity among our schools is not a significant problem in today’s culture. Wolfgang Grassl is one of these critics of diversity: “The destructive quest for artificial diversification is an outgrowth of the scourge of the twentieth century—the all‐pervasive creed of relativism.” They believe that people should model a society in which people in that society should have similar identities and backgrounds. They don’t believe it is a catholic value. Though some people believe this observation that lack of diversity in today’s society is a good thing, the lack of diversity in today’s environment hurts the society more than most people would assume. The lack of diversity here at St. Norbert’s, may hurt students ability in and especially outside the classroom. Diversity overall helps students develop their knowledge and test their beliefs. It does this by: enabling them to become conscious learners and critical thinkers, Students learn more and think in deeper and more complex ways in a diverse educational environment and Students educated in diverse settings are better able to participate in political and nonpolitical events. Allowing for St. Norbert’s to develop into a more diverse school, will allow students to broaden their knowledge and turn them into well rounded people.

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Drew Checolinski

Diversity is everywhere and important for colleges to have. Even though St. Norbert College is catholic, it is still important and should be a goal for any catholic college. The nation is changing and colleges need reflect this changing and adapt. Also, diversity does not hurt students. Diversity helps students, it can expand students’ minds, enhance social development, and help student’s future and career success. Many can argue, much like Wolfgang Grassl a professor of Business Administration who use to work at St. Norbert, and say that diversity is not a catholic value, and we should not “search” for diversity, and it is not important. Some citizens do not understand the importance of the issue, making it a challenging subject. Wolfgang Grassl’s opinion is extremely farfetched and not many people listen to him, but others may have their own opinions on the subject. St. Norbert has a group that supports diversity named the STAR program, and helps support people that are diverse. With all that being said, diversity is an important part of college, and St. Norbert needs to keep working on it.

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Brock Moldenhauer

Everywhere people go today, they are faced with diversity. Being able to accept diversity is a key virtue, especially in a learning environment such as Saint Norbert College. In facing this diversity, students develop skills that are essential to build a strong community. Each student encounters different experiences and scenarios that may, at times, lead them to frown upon diversity and push it away. When faced with these situations, they may feel uncomfortable and be quick to escape to a more comfortable position. If students continue to run from diversity or diverse situations, they will never be able to understand a different perspective that others may see. This leaves them close minded, seeing everything the way they want to see it and not how it actually is. Instead, if students embraced those encounters with diversity they would be able to expand their horizons, gain a new vantage point, and put themselves in a position to enhance their understanding and acceptance of the diverse world we live in today.  More »

Selena Cashman

Diversity is one of the most important characteristics for college students to be a part of.  According to Jeremy S. Hyman diversity is important not just in college but all around the world: “A college campus is like opening the door to the entire world without traveling anywhere else”. The benefits of St. Norbert College being a Catholic liberal arts school are ways the community displays diversity, the effects of diversity on other campuses and, the ways St. Norbert College shows racial values. More »

Rebecka Olsson

St Norbert College is, according to its mission statement, a college that “provides an educational environment that fosters intellectual, spiritual and personal development”. Our Catholic, Norbertine and liberal arts values states that we “seek truth through an ongoing dialogue among faith, reason and culture” and “pray and reflect communally and individually, welcoming all to participate” and have a ”dialogue with diverse cultures, perspectives and beliefs”. Wolfgang Grassl, a former business professor at SNC wrote an article for the Crisis Magazine about how diversity is not a Catholic value, Grassl claims that: “There is no mention of diversity as a goal of Catholic life in the Catechism of the Catholic Church or in any of the pastoral, moral, or social constitutions and encyclicals before and after Vatican II”. In fact, this claim is contradicting SNC’s mission statements. The problem with Grassl’s statement is that it goes against the statements of the institution that he worked for at that time and Grassl’s claim might make students who are considering to attend SNC to choose a different alternative.  More »

Zach Fritz

St Norbert College is known for its famous mission statement, “communio”. Communio is a word that means the spiritual, social, and intellectual development of a person. This is a trait that is pushed by St Norbert College. This statement is a very powerful and relatable motto to live by. The problem is that St Norbert preaches the diversity that it has on campus, even though the college is well below the national average for diversity in universities. For example, St Norbert College’s website is a great place to learn basically anything about anything here at SNC. There is one small lie that was found in the Mission and Student Affairs. SNC talks about how here on campus we develop communio by acknowledging and understanding the men and women from different cultures and ethnicities. The issue is, in a data survey for diversity in all the colleges across the nation, St Norbert College was given a diversity index of .15 which means that 85% of the students here are Caucasian. This shows that there is a trust problem in the “communio” life aspect here at St Norbert College. If we were to show that this campus is a stable and safe environment for minorities, then we could develop a more diverse culture here at SNC. More »

Megan Fabel

St. Norbert College states that: “We are dedicated to creating an environment that fosters learning and respect for individual and group differences across cultures, perspectives and beliefs as part of an educational environment that fosters intellectual, spiritual, and personal development”. SNC also is focusing on the word communio or the sense of a community on campus. That is one thing SNC values as a college, but there are many assertions and problems that come along with SNC calling themselves a Liberal Arts college; such as focusing their attention on the social sciences or the humanities rather than the business programs-SNC just build a brand new science center and is now partnering with the Medical College of Wisconsin to house a medical school on campus. With that, it may give SNC an appearance of “professionalizing” their programs rather that giving more of their focus on the coherence of their Liberal Arts promises.  Not that paying attention to those curriculums is a bad thing; it just takes away from the school’s focus of being a Liberal Arts college. SNC becomes less of a Liberal Arts school because they aren’t giving the full affect that they are promising when coming to a “Liberal Arts” school. More »

Shiela Mae Holder

St. Norbert College is facing a crisis over the issue of diversity. Of all the arguments about issue of diversity, I narrowed the arguments into two different groups, even though I recognized there are many positions of this issue. There are two radically different groups, each taking a different position on the issue of diversity. In recent publications, one person argued that diversity has a good impact at St. Norbert and another person claimed that St. Norbert is a Catholic college that should not promote the diversity as a value. The future direction of St. Norbert College will be determined by this debate. In this essay I will argue that St. Norbert should be guided by the positive value of diversity.

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Collin Zovnic

Low-income students need financial aid to keep them in college or they will drop-out, and be left with debt. Many students go into bankruptcy because they can’t afford to pay off their tuition fees. This seems to be a problem exclusively for the poor, as the colleges and universities, seem to not care at all about their situation. Exploiting poorer students for financial gain, such as for profit universities, doesn’t make their financial situation any better either. Despite this richer and more wealthier students are given even more financial than their poorer counterparts. To our low-income graduates and students from going broke, we need to support them in and out of college, so they don’t carry around as much debt. More »

Isabel Detienne

In a world that is ever-changing and culturally advancing every day, acceptance is key in order to establish a safe and encouraging environment for all. The importance of truly accepting the diversity and racial/ gender differences is one that is practiced by many. However, despite the strong movement towards a social unity, there are still many communities and settings across the US that exhibit poor empathy and respect for others. These areas are most commonly noted within colleges and universities, home to a wide variety of cultures, race, gender, sexuality and ethnicity. These are the areas that should be drawing in the most focus, in efforts to override the negativity and disrespect.

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Bridget Leen

Through out life, diversity can play a big role. There will be diversity through out every type of schooling that we go through, and in jobs. We have to learn how to deal with different types of people. If we do not learn how to work with people that are not the same nationality, religion, and economic background as us, then we will never learn anything. It is good to learn about different people when we are younger. When we are children, we are more accepting of others. As we get older we tend to be more judgmental of people. A lot of the time, people stay with what they are comfortable with, so they do not branch out to see what other people are like. In college, there are so many different people that we meet. If we learn how to deal with different people when we are younger, it will be easier to converse with them in the future. Colleges should be more diverse because it will teach us valuable lessons for the future. I personally feel that St. Norbert College should be more diverse. If SNC is more diverse, the students will not only learn things in class, they will learn outside of the classroom, like how to deal with other races, religions, and people who are not in the same fanatical situation as themselves. More »

By: Sierra Severin

Not every college is going to be perfect. There will always be things that people feel need to be changed to fit their needs. Although to me SNC doesn’t have any serious problems, I do think that they to work on diversity. One of SNC’s main goal is help you as a person, but you can’t help someone if they feel like an outsider. Diversity is one of the biggest problems on most campuses. Although we have programs here at SNC that help students included in the minority groups, we could still work on becoming more diverse. 90.9% of the students here at SNC are white, which shows you that we do not have a very diverse campus. This a problem because it shows that we are not doing enough to make our campus as diverse as we can. Although not every college is going to meet everyone needs, diversity is more of a must rather than a need. More »