Last Updated: Aug 24, 2012
In the beginning of August, a gunman walked into a Sikh temple in Wisconsin; he killed six people and injured others. The 40-year-old killer went into the temple with the intention of hurting innocent people, and because of this, people across the country came together to show support for the Sikh people, the victims, and the victims’ families.
Many united in support of the Sikh people, but this happened especially at college campuses. Colleges around the United States held vigils, services, memorials, and other events for the victims of the Sikh temple shooting. Even during the “off-season” of college classes, students of all types of backgrounds came together and honored those forever damaged by the horrible actions that took place.
I think that this says something big about how diversity can come out and show its true strength in awful situations, like in this case, the 9/11 terrorist attacks, and other events that shape our country—especially in terms of racial, cultural, or other types of targeted groups. Despite the race, culture, background, ideas, beliefs, or lifestyles of people around the country—especially at colleges—people work together to help victims and friends/families of the victims. The power of diversity allows people to take their experiences, knowledge, ideas, and goals, put them together, and help out whoever may need help.
But these life-changing events in our country don’t just show how powerful diversity can be on campus. Sadly, it shows that despite the best effort of institutions and society to eliminate negative stereotypes, there are still ignorant people who take part in these tragic hate crimes. But it also proves that many, especially college students, truly appreciate the diversity that takes over our college campuses, cities, and country. Events similar to the temple shooting—though incredibly heartbreaking—unite people of all backgrounds together. It’s special to see people similar to you show support, but when those who are different from you show their sorrows and offer their help, it’s an even better feeling.
College is the first major place where students experience diversity. Some students go to single-sex private high schools, and some go to large diverse high schools, but nothing compares to the diversity that takes place on college campuses. When college students come together in major events like this, it allows students to value the strength of diversity and what it can do for a community.
It’s always important to keep an open mind—and to remain sensitive—when showing support to religious, cultural, racial, or any other type of groups who experience traumatic events. Be positive, and no matter who is in trouble or has experienced something awful similar to the events discussed above, always be available to help. Your campus, your peers, and even you will appreciate what diversity can do for others.