Diversity Matters

The Student Leadership Diversity Petition

A new student-led diversity initiative calls for change and progress towards a more inclusive Furman of the future.

Furman students push for curriculum changes in pursuit of a more inclusive campus. Furman University

The Student Leadership Diversity Petition was created with the goal of fostering a more inclusive environment where all students feel welcome and accepted. Diversity comes in many forms: gender, race, religion, sexual orientation, age, culture, and socioeconomic background. All of these contribute to an individual’s unique experience of the world. One person’s experience in a particular environment may differ drastically from another as a result of identity. Promoting diversity is the first step to not just tolerance, but true acceptance. Through growing contact with, exposure to, and communication between new people with unique ideas, students begin to see that they may have more in common than they thought.

By signing the Student Leadership Diversity Petition students gain the opportunity to not only support their peers but also to help lay the foundation for the Furman of the future. These opportunities do not come often, but now the energy is in the air, and the time is right to start building a more diverse Furman while we have the chance. Although this campus holds different meaning to each student, it will forever be a part of our experience. A student’s four years of college are some of the most formative of their lives. One decision now can have important effects on future Furman students and can give them opportunities that current students have not had. Being diverse is not always easy but when times are hard it is important to have a supportive community that understands the problems you are going through - one where everyone's culture is represented, respected, and embraced. If we can ensure that for future students, imagine what that would mean to them. Imagine the experience they could have.

The Furman Advantage strategic vision calls on us to seriously pursue community, equity, and campus diversity. Diversity has the power to influence learning, innovation, and impact. Without diversity of experience and information, students' knowledge and ability to truly learn are limited. Bringing together people of various backgrounds with different life experiences can generate ideas or perspectives that others may not have ever considered or been aware of. 

It is important that we ensure that all the students on this campus feel their voices are heard and respected. We need to build a community where every student has the ability to thrive socially, emotionally, psychologically and intellectually. Diversity is essential to college life because students have different perspectives, and this allows us to learn from one another. Students have basic differences that differentiate people into various classes in terms of gender, race, ethnicity, class and so on. These differences cause a lot of misunderstanding, discrimination, and prejudice among people of different divisions. Diversity is the commitment to recognizing and appreciating the variety of characteristics that make individuals unique in an atmosphere that promotes and celebrates individual and collective achievement. If you have made a commitment to diversity in your life, take action today and sign the Student Leadership Diversity Petition.

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