Opinion: KSU: The Cultural Salad

Marvin Logan

Hello. Hola. What’s up? أهلاً بيك. 你好. Bonjour. All of these words and symbols are different forms of hello that you may hear on our beautiful Kent State campus. Kent State is home to students from more than 100 countries and I have had the pleasure of joining in the cultural celebrations of many of them. This past week I had the pleasure of kicking off Hispanic Heritage Month with the Latino Networking Caucus. It was an awesome event where people from all different backgrounds came together to celebrate Latino culture, its presence at Kent State and throughout the world. It really got me thinking: How often do we see this on campus?

We actually see it all the time. Many different groups that include students, faculty and staff, often join together to share their cultural celebrations. Most, if not all, invite everyone to join in and appreciate their differences. In an environment dominated by middle class whites, particularly males, it is very pleasant to see such a mix of cultures celebrated by all. I think, for Kent State, it is something that should be more widely celebrated and integrated into the framework of the university. It would also give different groups autonomy in facilitating their celebrations. I am looking forward to seeing what the future holds for our community where we celebrate and honor difference.

However, I do not believe that we can fully say we are all-inclusive until we see a major charge to stare at the mirror and facilitate the conversation. What’s teething behind our celebrations is the conversation we aren’t having about why we have a negative relationship with the things that separate us. We have become so fascinated with freedom of speech that we ignore so many other things. We still live in a community that writes epithets toward members of a different race, sexual orientation, ethnic or social groups. We have become so used to people spreading messages of hate that we have begun to not bat an eye. I applaud the 50 to 100 students who take a stand in counter protests on campus, but where are the rest of you? You share something with every oppressed group: You are all human.

You may ask, why I have titled the article “The Cultural Salad?” A salad is generally a mix of ingredients dominated by one main ingredient and served cold. We have made several gains, but we have a long way to go. I challenge you to take a step and join the party of celebrations. Take a chance to bring yourself just a little bit closer to a world where we can all be so far apart.  Make us a better and stronger community. Everyone has something worthwhile to bring to the table. Will you answer the call?