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Nicole K

As a graduate of SPU (and current graduate student), I loved my time living on campus and being a part of a unique college community like the one at SPU. My time at SPU was filled with late night adventures, roomies, raids, and mischief of many kinds. I met some of my best friends at SPU, and some of the best people I know. But, my time at SPU was also filled with what often felt like a spotlight following me around because of the color of my skin. Different people, at various times during my 4yrs at SPU, assumed that the color of my skin meant that I must fit a certain expectation (one that I have never fit.) There was this assumption made about my story based solely on my appearance. 90% of the time these assumptions came from other minority students or faculty wanting to make me feel included. Unfortunately, this often had a reverse impact and made me withdraw from the conversation because I felt like I was missing some necessary experience or there was a gap in my story. Diversity is absolutely important, it is something that should be celebrated along with the new perspectives and ideas that it naturally invites. But, it is also important that we remember that diversity does not equate to a single experience. Diversity can mean a lot of different things and look a million different ways. Remember to listen to stories and experience, not just what you see when you look at someone.