By GREGGORY WASHINGTON&
TOWER staff writers
Bethany College has made many advances towards achieving a more cultural and ethnically diverse campus in the past few decades. The college, a predominately white campus, is striving for a more unified school where the students are not differentiated by race. The institution has been in existence much longer than West Virginia has been a state, dating back to the late 1800’s around the time of the Civil War. It has predominantly been a less diverse school for many years but the tide is slowly turning. Bethany has introduced many different races and cultures to West Virginia, including African-Americans, Asians, and Hispanics. The faces of Bethany College are changing and Bethany College is achieving its goal of establishing one of the most culturally diverse small higher education institutions in the state.
With each year, more and more students, of all races and cultures begin their collegiate careers at Bethany College by meeting new faces within the confines of the classroom, athletic field and dormitories greeting one another as fellow Bethanians. Bethany College provides many on campus activities every year for students of all ethnic backgrounds, to interact with one another.
We would like to extend a special thanks to the individuals of Bethany’s SAC (Student Activities Council) for providing social activities allowing us to make new friends and promoting cultural awareness amongst different nationalities. For example, they provide field trips to amusement parks, baseball games, host famous comedians, and the infamous “welcome back concert”, which this year Machine Gun Kelly will be performing. So, in all Bethany’s SAC plays a significant part in promoting unity on the campus. Each fall semester the freshman students are required to attend a connections class to participate in events around campus, which allows them to interact with one another.
Diversity has always been a problem in today’s society, especially when prospective college students venture away from home and leave their comfort zone. These individuals might experience a “culture shock” when entering a foreign atmosphere; but new experiences can be a good thing. Bethany College does a very good job of making the transitions of these students much easier.
Bethany is moving in a direction that will better the school’s environment and reputation. One thing that the alumni of this great institution are especially proud of is the immediate acceptance and integration of freshman from various ethnic backgrounds by those upperclassmen, showing the unity that the college has strived for over the years. When strolling around campus between classes or on the late night Boomer’s Run, you would see the same groups interacting with each other every day. However, there is visible chemistry or unity between different ethnic groups that is surrounding the students on campus today.
To revert back to a previous point, the students who once felt out of place and now feel right at home because of the cultural integration that Bethany College has provided. In past years the students and faculty were pushing the administration to recruit more individuals from various cultural backgrounds, and now that these individuals are on campus, it is time for us to take on the responsibility of cultivating and diversifying the campus.