Our view: What’s really on your mind?

Politics. Celebrity gossip. Dorm gossip. Classwork overload. What went down this weekend. What’s going on this weekend. Racial tensions. Gender inequalities. LGBT -based hate crimes.

What topics rule most of your conversations on campus?

Not the conversations you have during class, led by a teacher. Not even the conversations you have with your closest friends, the ones you know won’t judge you.

What kind of conversations do you have on a daily basis with the people you pass every day?

The bubble that is college life shields its residents from the outside world and gives them a chance to interact and grow as people in a somewhat protected environment. Students are encouraged to open their minds, to listen to opinions different than their own and, ultimately, to think for themselves. The community is made up of people from different social, economic and religious backgrounds, of different racial and ethnic groups, of different sexual preferences and gender identities. It’s likely that students never have before and, for many, never will again be exposed to so many varied personalities.

But how many take advantage of this opportunity to get to know people wildly different from themselves?

Maybe they’re afraid of making a mistake and offending someone. Maybe they’re afraid of being judged. Maybe they don’t like conflict.

Whatever the reason, it’s far too common that the important conversations just don’t happen – not for real and not with a diverse group of people. They stay within classroom walls and behind closed doors.

It’s time that changed.

At the Daily Kent Stater, we interact with all different kinds of groups on campus, from students to staff to administrators. You all have stories to tell, and it’s our job to tell them.

But it’s not enough.

We want to really get the conversation going. Not just for this semester or this university, but for our future. We can’t do it alone.

We need you.

Tonight, the Daily Kent Stater and Residence Services are co-hosting the first in a series of open dialogues about diversity on campus. This week, we’re addressing racial diversity. Later in the semester, we’ll discuss issues of gender equality and LGBT rights.

We’ve invited deans, provosts and faculty members. Now we’re inviting you – whoever you may be:



Community members.

This isn’t about what we think. It’s about you. We’re just hosting it.

So please – stop by Eastway between 5 and 6 p.m. today, and join us. Let us know what’s on your mind.

Get the conversation started.

The above editorial is the consensus opinion of the Daily Kent Stater editorial board.