IONA

Appreciating Diversity and Communicating Across Cultures

An important and exciting aspect of coming to college is the opportunity to meet people whose background may be very different from yours. Here at Iona College, differences and diversity are viewed as valuable resources. At the same time, meeting people who are different from you may create some discomfort or anxiety. Nevertheless, in the hope that you will want to get to know and appreciate people from diverse backgrounds, please consider the following points and suggestions:

  • America has always been diverse. It is our very diversity that makes us so strong, vibrant, and dynamic as a country.
  • Diversity enriches our lives and our environment. Wouldn't life be boring if everyone were exactly like you?
  • We have all got biases and stereotypes in our heads. Recognize what yours are and be willing to work on them.
  • Walk in that other person's shoes. It's really hard when you are not a part of the majority.
  • Don't tell jokes or use derogatory terms that put down people who are different from you. Words can really hurt.
  • Don't tolerate violence, cruelty, or insensitivity perpetrated by others toward any member of our community.
  • Make a point of meeting and exchanging ideas with someone who is different from you racially, ethnically, or in other significant ways.
  • Attend an event at the College that is offered by a group that is new to you. Isn't expanding your horizons one of the reasons you are in college?
  • Understand that every culture has its own style - of dressing, of music, of talking, and interacting - and that no one style is the correct one.
  • Be open and respectful toward all members of our campus community. It is up to all of us to create a better, more hospitable and welcoming campus environment.

Resources:

  • Asian American Association (ASA) - contact the Office of Student Development for information (914) 633-2360
  • Council of Multicultural Leaders (CML), located in The LaPenta Student Union, Second Floor; contact the Office of Student Development for information (914) 633-2360
  • Black Student Union (BSU) - contact the Office of Student Development for information (914) 633-2360
  • Gaelic Society - contact the Office of Student Development for information (914) 633-2360
  • Gael Pride (LGBTQ+) - formerly Gay/Straight Alliance (GSA) - contact the Office of Student Development (914) 633-2360
  • Hispanic Organization for Latin Awareness (HOLA) - contact the Office of Student Development (914) 633-2360
  • Italian Society - contact Office of Student Development (914) 633-2360
  • Jewish Student Association - open to all students at Iona College - contact the Office of Student Development for information (914) 633-2360
  • Students of Caribbean Ancestry (SOCA) - contact the Office of Student Development (914) 633-2360
  • Respect Campaign - contact the Office of Student Development (914) 633-2360
    • an initiative that was created entirely by students for students to promote respect for the diversity of all people, for all members of our community, for our environment, and for our neighbors. As part of this initiative, students encourage peers to be respectful at all campus events, including in their classes, and to engage in activities that promote equality among all people, that preserve the environment, and that make a positive difference in our surrounding community.
  • Iona College Division of Student Life Diversity Committee
    • comprised of student affairs professionals, faculty members and students who are committed to supporting and enhancing a welcoming, safe and vibrant diversity-positive campus environment for all students at Iona College. Throughout the year, the Diversity Committee creates, sponsors and supports programs for all members of the community that encourage dialogue among student cohorts with regard to all aspects of diversity, including race, ethnicity, religion, gender, sexual orientation, nationality, age and disability.
    Students are welcome to join the Diversity Committee. To learn more about the work of the Committee and/or to join, please contact Mr. Leo Pedraza, Chair, at 633-2541.
  • www.loveislouder.com - This website is dedicated to help young people to get support regarding sexual orientation and to stop bullying with regard to this issue.  Students can view messages from young celebs speaking about why it's important for love to be louder than hate.
  • Itgetsbetter.org - "This website provides hope for LGBT young people for a positive future as an LGBT adult. The website provides many videos of LGBT adults discussing how their lives got better over time."