Week of events stresses importance of diversity on campus

Priscilla Bonilla, Correspondent

With the support of faculty, Erica Acosta, executed a successful week in creating awareness of different cultures for the students at Wilkes University.

“Faculty see the importance in Diversity Week,” said Erica Acosta, associate director for Diversity Initiatives. “And they encouraged their students to attend.”

The number of students that attended Diversity Week continued to increase as the week went on. Acosta was satisfied by the level of participation and believes that her efforts along with the faculty’s commitment resulted in a positive outcome.

Around 10 students attended ‘Sounds of Africa’ on Monday, 15 students were in attendance for the “Challenging Stereotypes in Media” on Tuesday, the number of attendees continued to rise to 40 on Wednesday at “Life Outside the Closet,” and finally ‘What’s in a Name?’ had 20 participants on Thursday.

Dr. Evene Estwick, associate professor in the Department of Communication Studies, said she was pleased to see the number of students who attended the ‘Challenging Stereotypes in Media’. She was excited to see the students partake in the discussion but would have liked more participation.

“The students were aware,” Estwick said in regard to issues brought up in the film “Crash.” “But actually seeing it on screen is shocking.”

Each time Estwick watches the movie “Crash,” she always has a new reaction because the film only offers questions. It makes viewers think about topics such as racism, sexism, masculinity and others, which are typically noticed but avoided by society.

“Wilkes students need to know the best way to diversify and make yourself marketable, is by getting involved,” Acosta said.

Acosta advised students to take advantage of the events the university offers because they never know what they will end up doing.

“If you would have asked me what I saw myself doing now 10 years ago,” Acosta said. “I would have replied a nurse practitioner.”

Acosta got involved and attended events such as Diversity Week during her college years, the knowledge she gained from first hand experience of cultures allowed her to be eligible for the position she now attains.