Ethnicity at Beloit Introduction Letter

Imagine waking up every day and being surrounded by people who look drastically differently from you.

For example, I have big hair. I have brown skin. I’m not thin. I stick out at Beloit College. I am constantly aware of the fact that I am the only minority in my classes, my friend group, and my extracurriculars. Regardless, I am a proud Beloiter. I am proud to be the only minority on the Round Table staff, and I wouldn’t want to be the token black friend in any other friend-group. But when race comes up in a class I can feel everybody’s eyes turn to me. I can hear the pauses before they say something that might offend me. I am not alone in feeling this way, and that’s why this is such an important issue.

We have collected pieces on ethnicity from professors from various departments, from students who are freshman, seniors, and even from alumni. The contributors vary in age, gender, and ethnicity. Hopefully, they will express to you that this topic is unavoidable, no matter your background. The following “Ethnicity at Beloit” section aims to change our campus’ perception of what is acceptable academically when it comes to diversity.

The intention of this week’s special section is not to lay blame or demonize the administration. (The Round Table is not faultless when it comes to diversity—the paper this week was, admittedly, influenced by my presence on the editorial staff.) Rather, the purpose is to encourage people of all ethnicities, races, and cultural backgrounds to start talking. At a predominantly white school like ours, it is all too easy to ignore issues of diversity. We hope this week’s paper makes it harder to overlook these things.

Sasha Debevec-McKenney



7 thoughts on “Ethnicity at Beloit Introduction Letter

  1. Get over yourself please. No one gives a shit.

    Posted by Anon | November 11, 2011, 9:32 pm
  2. What are the chances that “ANON” is:

    A) White
    B) Male
    C) Frat Bro
    D) A stunning combination of all 3

    PS–props to your professional and well-rounded presentation. I hope this section causes some buzz and totally ruins FratBro’s.

    Posted by sashasnumber1fan | November 13, 2011, 2:41 am
  3. Actually, I’m female and hispanic, but nice try.

    Posted by Anon | November 17, 2011, 6:47 pm
  4. I wanted to say this earlier in class today Sasha, but I felt that it would be more “appropriate” to say it here:

    “So, I’m guessing ‘Native American’ doesn’t count as a minority, huh?” I find it ironic that the Round Table would post the statistics of ethnic groups at Beloit, but not post include Native Americans. What, are we (yes, I am Native; a Southern one at that) too ‘insignificant’ in number to not be involved?

    Another thing I would like to mention (though I plan on writing an article next week for more clarity) is that it seems that since the whole issue of a “lack of racial diversity” began last semester with the posted flyers, there has been a clear emphasis on blacks (not everyone is from Africa; hence why I personally discourage the use of the term ‘African-American’): the use of the ‘N’ word, the ‘fact’ that Beloit College allegedly does not care if the word is used (I am sure there is more to this than simple “shock value”), the problem of post-traumatic slave syndrome…the list goes on. These examples show exactly what I mean. The vast majority of topics revolving around ethnicity focus on blacks…but few cover other ethnic groups. And when other ethnic groups are covered, it seems to just stand as a convenient “See! It’s not all about black people! It’s about other races too!” kinda thing. How is it really though?

    Now for this article in particular.

    “For example, I have big hair. I have brown skin. I’m not thin. I stick out at Beloit College.”

    Um…and no one else has big hair (true, not many, but still), brown skin (what about Hispanics and Middle-Easterners?) and thinness?

    “I am constantly aware of the fact that I am the only minority in my classes…”

    Funny…I guess I’m white then. And I highly doubt that you are not or have not been the only minority in your classes since you’ve been here (this semester may be different, but otherwise, no).

    That’s all I wanted to contribute. Thank you. I will discuss “guilt-tripping” elsewhere.

    P.S. Making assumptions about someone just because they disagree with you doesn’t make you appear very reasonable, especially if it makes you racist, sexist, and anti-Greek (of course, all of us have already seen that portion of your persona).

    Posted by Ulrich | November 17, 2011, 10:56 pm
  5. By the way…censoring another person’s comments is not exactly “democratic.”

    “ANON” identified as ‘Hispanic and female.’ Don’t delete a comment just because you don’t like what is said. Talk about tyranny and ‘privilege.’

    Posted by Ulrich | November 17, 2011, 11:38 pm
  6. Sweetheart, next time you want to vent your true feelings, do it to the writer’s face, not by cowardly posting it on a public forum where you can’t actually have an honest dialogue about it. Sasha put a lot of time and effort into creating this section on ethnicity, and you’re actually criticizing her for not including Native Americans “enough”? If she didn’t do a good enough job getting people to talk about that one ethnic group, then maybe you should put together a section on it yourself and stop bitching.

    a racist, sexist, and anti-greek chick

    Posted by sashasnumber1fan | November 18, 2011, 4:11 am
  7. Alright, “hunny.” I can play that game too.

    It’s not so much about ‘venting’ than it is about direct criticism. I could of course, care less and ignore the situation (God knows I have other things to do, it being my last year). And now I’ve come to speaking with a troll. An obnoxious one with a fan club personality attached. Oh, fun.

    I find it interesting how you call it cowardly (on the contrary, it is rather cowardly to hide behind a different online name; you’re not fooling anyone. If that isn’t the case, then my apologies) of me to direct my critique of her article on here, despite the fact that she very well did the same thing in regards to Greek Life (with a not very ‘nice’ context behind it, mind you). How can I not criticize, via civil discourse, (without ad hominem attacks) an article posted in a public forum (which is the kind of environment for critique), though she can openly disparage Greek organizations because of her personal distaste of them (how does being ‘lonely’ even apply here?).

    As for the inclusion of Native Americans, there is no “enough” to begin with. It is clearly non-existent. And why should I talk about it? I was simply making a point that one group was excluded from the rest, while another was overemphasized against all the others. I don’t see what the problem is, really. Personally, I worry more about my accent than my ‘race,’ since that seems to be the focal point whenever I meet someone. Then again, I don’t exactly complain about it in public just because I might be worried about what other people think about it.

    My, aren’t we sassy?

    a “bitchy” southern Native male

    P.S. If I am such a bother, I could always be “censored” like everyone else who disagrees with you or your Highness. Yay, authoritarianism!

    Posted by Ulrich | November 18, 2011, 5:45 am

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