America. Land of the free. Land of limitless opportunity. Well, almost limitless. If you’re American, it’s limitless. For foreigners, not so much.
I have had the privilege to be a part of some of the most prestigious organizations on our campus, representing diversity in leadership and partnership. But I think that diversity has come with limitations, at least for the international students.
I applaud and appreciate the organizations that have developed throughout the years to represent their cultures. We need that different spectrum to broaden our takes on life outside America.
But I do not want international students to feel that they have to make their own organizations because they don’t belong in other “American” organizations.
I know what you’re thinking. You’re not even international. You’re in leadership positions.
Who are you to complain?
My race, religion and beliefs are not a hindrance to speak for those who may not feel they have a voice on this campus.
As a leader, you realize when something is wrong and strive to correct it. Strive to change for the better.
I have spoken with some of my friends who happen to be international, and they feel that you must be a “somebody” to take a leadership role or to be a part of an organization.
You must be a part of a fraternity or sorority.
You must be known. You must be popular. You must be kidding. is not high school. Don’t get me wrong. ere are international students in organizations, but if you can count how many there are on one hand or see the same students over and over again, you should see that there is an issue here.
They need to know that their voice matters just as much when it comes to putting them- selves out there. To see such limitation is pretty intimidating.
Flying hundreds of miles across the world to be in a place where you feel that you don’t be- long is intimidating.
Seeing so many students in leadership roles or heavily involved on campus, but rarely seeing people who could relate to you is also intimidating.
I cannot speak for all internationals, but I have spoken to enough to know that change must be implemented.
We cannot claim as a university, or even as a literal stepping stone on the ground of the fountain, to represent diversity if we look at our school’s leadership and see a fine line between America and international countries.
International students. You are truly a name on this campus, and not a number. You mat- ter. e more you put yourself out there, the more you will be heard. Don’t be afraid of failure. Don’t be intimidated by those who are “the elite” or “popular.” You are the change our cam- pus needs. e missing ingredient we need in our pot of gumbo.
American students, especially those who are heavily involved on campus, encourage your fellow Warhawks. It does not matter where they ew from, they are still a Warhawk. It’s one thing to think you could do it on your own, but having a diverse flock to back you up takes it to another level.
Leadership is not a popularity contest, nor should it be treated as such. Diversity is not showing every color of the rainbow, it’s show- ing how they mix and complement.