Hey Fairfield!

I am Darryl Brackeen Jr., a current senior here at Fairfield.

I currently serve as a senator of the class of 2010 in which I presently serve and have served on countless committees dealing with the topic of diversity on the Fairfield Campus. In every single one of these meetings, there has been serious talks about diversity on the Fairfield campus and why students might get the wrong perception about diversity.

Ever since setting foot on campus freshman year, the exposure to the concept of diversity has been very present, and for the most part when people hear diversity they truly misunderstand the entire concept behind it.

What I am about to say may confirm feelings for some, but alarm others, as to how serious the topic of diversity truly is. It’s time now that these misconceptions finally become squashed once and for all.

First, I must admit that there are many of us that get that diversity is a crucial step to realizing that the real world is truly diverse. With that being said, I can honestly say that there are many others who just tolerate it in the hopes that it will blow over once they get out of Fairfield.

For those you who believe in just tolerating diversity, you need a serious reality check. Diversity is not some sort of common cold you just deal with until it goes away. Diversity is not pushed on this campus as a sickness, but quite the opposite. It is a healthy transition for most of us to realize that the world is much bigger than Ugg boots, the Jersey Shore and mocha latte frappuchinos. Though in some ways, all of those things are what make people diverse if you think about it.

So, let’s just take a minute to think about this: When you hear the word diversity what comes to your mind first? Did race, sexual orientation or even maybe socioeconomic status come to mind? You wouldn’t be totally wrong if they did, but did you think about diversity of thought, opinion, ideas, talents, socio-culturalism, and one that I hold dear, diversity of passions? Yes, some may argue that would water down what diversity really is.

I must say that it’s time we get to a place where the thought of diversity is so vast that we break down the barriers that are still held up when we look at someone else’s outer appearance.

Being a man that brings “ethnic diversity” to this campus, I am marginalized as someone from the city, barely making it out of high school and probably is somehow here on a free ride. The true story is I am indeed from the great city of New Haven and was one of the top three males in my high school class. I personally took it upon myself to work my own way through college and have paid every penny to be here. That was a choice, not an obligation. That my friends is only one example of the many diverse drives and passions that people have on this campus.

Starting today, I am announcing that I am launching a motivational speaking campaign starting first here on Fairfield campus entitled “Diversity: It’s Not Stupidity, it’s Reality!” I will be speaking to every University student as well as holding open forums for intellectual dialogue on what diversity really is about and how we, as Fairfield students, can become more aware of the people that surround us every single day.

So be on the lookout for the next forum near you. As well the “Diversity is not Stupidity” kick-off rally for “Enough is Enough week and Communities in Action” week held on April 12, 2010 from 6:30 p.m. — 8:00 p.m. in the BCC Lower Level where there will be free food, performances, testimonials from students on their opinions about diversity, as well as my final campus-wide motivational presentation.

Believe me you won’t want to miss this!

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