Having spent the past semester at St. Norbert College I have become submerged in our community. Being a small private catholic liberal arts college the community is much different than what you may find at perhaps a stem school or a public research university. The strongest difference being the presence of faith. Faith is present on religious colleges across the nation and St. Norbert College is no exception. In addition to faith there is a higher presence of diversity. However diversity throughout faith based schools is not always a priority or goal of these institutions. Without legislation in place it becomes the moral responsibility as to whether or not diversification is a priority for an institution.
Diversity throughout an institution of postsecondary education means ushering in a broad variety of stud
ents and change to any college or university. It was in Zach Ford’s article “Christian College Demands Expelled Lesbian Student to Pay Back Financial Aid”. An article which describes a gay female student was expelled due to her sexuality. Zach Ford sums up the article by stating “In other words, Grace is essentially fining a former student for not convincing the faculty she is straight enough to complete her education there.” This article makes a strong case into modern day discrimination. While one may not morally agree with the decision Grace made the article explains, “there are also no rules requiring the university not to discriminate based on sexual orientation when receiving financial aid from the federal government, so it’s unclear territory.” With this information it then becomes a college or universities moral responsibility on what role diversity will play on their campus. While this viewpoint may not be a popular one this is once again a conflict based on morals rather than law.
It is in Julia K. Stronks article “Discrimination and Pluralism” where we find a very fine line between rights. The article’s content explains “The government should respect the right of religious institutions to discriminate against gay people, writes Julia K. Stronks. But religious institutions need to rethink their approaches to gay people as well.” Meaning it is once again the moral responsibility of an institution to determine whether that institution wishes to incorporate diversity within its campus. St. Norbert’s incorporation of communio is a clear example in which ways this college has taken necessary steps to further diversify. Comunio according to the St. Norbert College mission statement is described as “the ideal of a community united as one, grounded in the Christian understanding of God as Trinity.” The mission statement as quoted offers evidence supporting the efforts of St. Norbert College’s push into diversification.
While history has shown us instances where some have been socially, emotionally, and even physically harmed because of their own race, religion, or sexual identity to name a few. I feel like today we live in a society where issues of diversity are being talked about like never before. Where the frequency in which we address these issues and how we feel about these issues daily. This is due to certain political candidates and their ideals, social media, as well as various other advocators of these issues throughout the community. I feel we live in a rapidly accepting age for these issues. I also feel we live in an age where some fear to speak how these issues make them feel because of instances of harassment. An example being this past election. Many have called the president elect various things for statements he has made throughout both his campaign and throughout his fame. Where ever one’s political views may lie I have seen instances on social media where some have been verbally harassed for supporting our president elect. I do find specific hypocrisy in this. True diversity much like stated in Julia K. Stronks article is allowing all views to be expressed. Stronks explains throughout her article whether a viewpoint is popular or not it is within their right to believe in what they choose. This argument become one of morals. For example one’s morals goes into determining one’s political views. However many do not wish to share their viewpoints due to fear of how one may react. The fact of the matter is one can not argue one’s morals. While you are free to disagree with one’s morals part of divesifaction is a level of acceptance in variety of one’s morals.
Regardless of one’s personal viewpoints of how an institution chooses to incorporate diversity into their community or not it is the moral responsibility of institutions across the nation to determine this. Whether it is a religious institution’s goal to incorporate diversity into their institution, it is a moral decision in which should be accepted. St. Norbert College’s motto of communio is one example of ways in which this school looks to unite its students. This motto is a step to achieving a more diverse community.