Opinion: ARC students should interact with people of different cultures


American River College provides wonderful opportunities for learning about cultures from all over the world, such as the Latino Heritage Day celebrated on Oct. 8. (Photo by Barbara Harvey)

Mychael Jones

Asking questions that sometimes make people feel politically incorrect or apprehensive can help us to learn about different cultures on campus.

The classes we study in together are introducing us to each other, helping to create a bond that will allow everyone a better view of different lifestyles.

Questions to ask can be as broad as “How do I say good morning in your native language?” to something more intense like “What do you think about the stereotypes you receive because of your ethnicity?”

Here is a chance to challenge ourselves as students and community members to reach out to other people and talk to them.

The demographics on the American River College campus are widespread with many different ethnic and cultural groups.

Yet, too many students are unaware of different cultures.

The month of October is known for Hispanic Heritage Month, which recognizes the faith and ideals of the Hispanic community.

According to the most recent data recorded, in Spring 2014 19.4 percent of ARC students were Hispanic.

Next month will be November, which opens the door to discussion of Thanksgiving traditions.

The argument is that the Thanksgiving celebrates Puritans who didn’t give Native Americans rights and that the history has been re-written to create a fantasy of peaceful negotiations.

Interaction with other people’s races and ethnicities can give an understanding of that person’s identity. That, in turn, can help promote a more connected community college experience.

For example, through the Club and Events Board (CAEB) and the Student Diversity Center, there can be a discussion on the Irish community during the month of March as a way to counteract the month being used as an excuse for drunken buffoons to party.

Cinco de Mayo is also a misunderstood holiday that people think is the Mexican independence holiday. Cinco De Mayo actually signifies a great war won against the French army in 1862.

It is possible to have a day to talk about the Muslim community that we see every day at ARC.

If cultures on campus had a voice they would be able to speak it proudly. Anyone and everyone deserves to be looked at with respect.

ARC does have classes that teach about other cultures. Anthropology 310 studies humans and the variations of cultures that exist in the world.

However, this is a class taught on campus for education. Social interaction with another human being can not be taught.

Everyone at ARC needs to take the opportunity to reach out to others.