diversity and inclusivity
I grew up in a small town in the Panhandle of Nebraska called Alliance. We are commonly known for Carhenge, UNL alumnus and basketball star Jordan Hooper, and the BNSF Railway. We are a town with a population of approximately 8,500 people, but that number is always fluctuating. According to the 2010 Census, statistics showed Alliance as a predominately white community with 87.49% of residents (7,429 out of 8,491 people) identifying themselves with the “white alone” option on the survey concerning their race. Also only 12.34% (1,048 out of 8,491 people) of the population in Alliance was made of “persons of Hispanic or Latino origin.”
I mention the above because when I arrived on the UNL campus in the fall of 2014, I had one of the most eye opening, impactful experiences of my life. I had culture shock.
More than 100 students gathered in the Unity Room at the Jackie Gaughan Multicultural Center on Thurs., Sept. 29, for the How to Do Drag Workshop. The LGBTQA+ Resource Center and the UNL Spectrum student organization hosted the event in place of a regular UNL Spectrum meeting. At the event, Michael Johnson and Trent Battershaw, experienced drag performers, taught attendees different types of drag and gave tips for on stage performance and how to choose the right name, music, makeup and clothes.
On Thursday, Jan. 26, the Office of Academic Support and Intercultural Services hosted a Lunar New Year celebration for the University of Nebraska-Lincoln campus community.
Held April 21, the Lavender Graduation and Chancellor’s Awards for Outstanding Contributions to the GLBT Community honored achievements by members of the LGBTQA+ community at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
The ceremony honored six undergraduates, four master’s degree graduate students and two doctoral graduate students. All are graduating members of the LGBTQA+ community who received certificates and commemorative rainbow tassels. A complete participant list is provided below.
Within the first few weeks of college, someone very close to me at the time expressed to me that “Lincoln (read: UNL) changes people.” I remember feeling very offended at that statement. I didn’t feel any different. What did this individual mean? Was this meant to be defamatory in some way toward myself, my friends, or my chosen institution of higher education?
More than 400 students, faculty and staff members gathered in the Nebraska Union on Feb. 4 to watch twelve student groups compete in the Intercultural Spotlight Competition. The evening highlighted unity and cultural appreciation through entertaining performances.
“We organized the event because we believe in the value of cultural diversity and [wanted] to showcase a variety of cultures from different countries, not only one country,” said Luyao Yan, residential international student coordinator.
Smiles, hearty laughter and stories of the good old days flowed freely when members of Kappa Alpha Psi gathered to celebrate the 100th birthday of the Eta Chapter at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
“It’s like a second homecoming – though UNL has their homecoming in the fall, it’s like that second homecoming for the individuals and they just made a big weekend out of it,” said Alfonzo Cooper, a graduate advisor to the Kappa Alpha Psi chapter at UNL.
Pi Alpha Chi, a local sorority founded on Catholic values, was accepted into the Panhellenic Association at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln as an associate member in September.
In March the University of Nebraska-Lincoln was recognized by The Education Trust for its 10-point reduction in the achievement gap between white and black students between 2003 and 2013. At the same time, UNL increased the overall graduation rate by 4.5 percent. While there is room for continued improvement, this great feat should be celebrated and studied to examine how to further close the achievement gap for minority students.
When senior global studies major Milla Heikkinen talks about the Kawasaki Reading Room Book Club, the enthusiasm and passion in her voice proves that the club is more special than your average reading group.
The Kawasaki Reading Room Book Club provides a place for students and members of the community to be in fellowship with people who share an interest Japanese culture.