Wide Open

For the programming staff of the HUB—Ann Claussen, director, and assistant directors Shay Jaymes (in the fall) and Holly Newell (in the spring)—and for Susan Kramer, coordinator for student life in the Office of Student Affairs, diversity has meant a challenge but also a wonderful opportunity. It opens a world of choices.

As Shay said: “Our big rock attraction last spring was Wycliff Jean! Wy-cliff Jean!” (The singer is of West Indian origin.) In the fall it was O.A.R. (Of a Revolution) and in the spring Jen Chapin, a social activist in music. The point is not just their color but their differences in style, musical roots, and fan base.

Sue has instituted an entire day of diversity training in the orientation for resident advisors of the dorms. “We added about 50 pages to the manual,” she says of the R.A. training. And she monitors their plans for dorm activities to be sure they offer a variety of people, issues, and formats. Last year, she was proud to have brought Bill and Joe, a gay partnership, to talk to students about what it means to be gay or lesbian on a college campus. She also oversees a group called Peer Educators, which offers mentoring and advice on everything from study habits to intolerance.

One of the most successful programs ever was a sold-out campus production of The Vagina Monologues, a series of spoken essays by Eve Ensler about being a woman. There will be another set of Monologues in March, read by faculty, staff, and student volunteers.

The College offers plenty of spaces for its multicultural students to meet and make friends. There is an International Club, a Multicultural Club, and an organization for gay, lesbian, and bisexual students called Spectrum. The International Club offers several “Taste of Culture” evenings a year: dinner and entertainment highlighting the food and customs of various cultures.

There are movie nights with discussions following. “We brought Boys Don’t Cry,” said Shay. (This movie starred Hillary Swank as a skinny teenage girl who dresses as a boy, loves another girl, and is murdered by a group of tough boys when they find our her secret.) “They hated it. It was very graphic. But I wanted ’em to see that this stuff really happens.”
And the language clubs (French, Spanish, and German) frequently offer films as well. The German Club brought a series last fall on the uneasy reentry of East Germany into the German republic.

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Mary Frances Berry was the featured speaker at Moravian's Martin Luther King Jr. celebration.

Photo: Lauren Laviola '04