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The Meriam-Webster dictionary defines diversity as: “ the inclusion of different types of people (as people of different races or cultures) in a group or organization.” The University of Illinois tends to promote itself as being one of the most diverse universities and campuses in the United States, and perhaps even the world. A lot of effort goes into making sure that the University of Illinois is a diverse and open campus, including offices dedicated to just that. Illinois’ biggest office that focuses on diversity is called the “Office of Diversity, Equity, and Access” and oversees incidents and regulations ranging from Title IX, to discrimination. In addition to the countless offices that are dedicated to making the University a diverse campus, there are events held campus-wide. Though there are events spread
One of these events that occurred recently was a language fair, where speakers of multiple languages came together in the Foreign Languages Building, and offered “Speed Teaching” (10 minute lessons for each language) to students that may not typically have a chance to experience languages they aren’t native to.
Jennifer Avery, an Assistant Director of the Division of Management Information at the University, organized the event, says “Illinois is a good example of a diverse university, but it could be improved through more cohesion, and effort from all units of the University.”
Avery also said that she believes we need to realize more of the diversity that is already surrounding us, and use it in a positive way that can aid in the diversity of the campus.
Though diversity is often at the back of a student’s mind, in the mix of stressful tests, papers, and classes, Avery believes that diversity is much more than what most people think of it as being.
“On the face of [this event] you see it as just language, but when you look deeper into it you see this language as a window into the cultures.”