Friday, July 4, 2014

Diversity Alliance Meeting #2: Socioeconomics

Eliza Huntington co-supervisor for the diversity alliance group

At Wednesday, July 2nd’s Diversity Alliance meeting in the back room of the dining hall, the discussion focused on socioeconomic status and how people see it in their own lives. The coordinators asked so many great questions, the group never encountered a dull moment in the meeting.

Interns, Eliza Huntington and Pierce Ellinwood head the group. Ellinwood is the intern for The Quest and Eliza is an intern for the Writing Workshop. Ellinwood said of the group, “it is a no pressure environment, it’s really thinking about the diversity around us everyday and considering how it affects us, and how we project it.”

“It is a breakdown of different subjects in our community so that we can understand how diversity is active in our society today.” 

Both Ellinwood and Huntington were involved in the Diversity Alliance last year, and decided to continue the group which has been around for a few years.

Andrew Norkiewicz, an intern for the Sustenance and Sustainability course, led the conversation about socioeconomics. Norkiewicz said, “In my college experience socioeconomics was an important part of how the campus functioned. I was friends with people who had a lot of money but also those who were at the school on a full-ride.”

The discussion began when Norkiewicz relayed some statistics about poverty in New Hampshire and then asked: Do you see clusters of socioeconomic groups around different cities or towns?

From this point the conversation accelerated quickly, participants heard from different interns and students about their experience with clustering, especially in schools. Some students and interns were from different states and discussed how this clustering of socioeconomic groups happens elsewhere.

Norkiewicz then spoke about the extreme difference between high school and college socioeconomic groups. With so many students coming from different backgrounds at a college, some on full rides and others paying for college all by themselves, socioeconomic groups seem not as separated in those spaces. One can see diversity in college much more prevalently than in most high schools, because in high school people come from the same or nearby towns which have fairly similar economic situations.

Huntington stated “One of things I love about college is having academic discussions about what happens in my life, and I really just enjoy sharing that experience and having a focused discussion over dinner.”

The diversity alliance meets every Wednesday from 5:30-6:30 in the back room of the dining hall. The future topics to look forward to include: race, disability and mental illness, and sexuality. Come share your story and be heard by fellow ASP students and interns!

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