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.