Eight pairs of True Religion jeans, a new Gucci handbag, 10 new Juicy sweat suits or three new projects to raise diversity on campus?

Although many students find themselves splurging on the latest designer handbags or hottest new jeans, very few students think to “splurge” on spreading diversity awareness around campus.

With the new Diversity Grant, $1,500 was given to each of three Grant recipients for program expenses along with $500 each in cash prize to do with as they please.

Over the past week there were many events across campus that helped students develop personal awareness and promote diversity.

Last Wednesday, Project Peg hosted a campaign that spread a message that is hardly displayed often enough. In a combination of collages, paintings and words, the six women of Project Peg reminded students of the importance of not judging one another based on appearances.

Regardless of age, gender, racial or ethnic background, social group or sexuality, we all must accept one another. No one person is better than, smarter than or more correct than any other person.

The world in which we live has many temptations that make it easy to make fun of the girl in the corner who spends all day by herself or the guy in the cafeteria who sits alone every day.

This event begged the question, what good does it do to make fun of one another?

And the answer is simple. None. It does no good for someone to put another down for the way we choose to judge them.

Of course one event is not enough to change the way everyone feels about the many topics that fall under diversity awareness, but the events of Diversity Week were a start.

If admitting that there is a problem is the first step to solving it, then I believe that last week’s diversity events did just that: it gave students the necessary nudge to begin integrating diversity into their lives.

Even if it did not change everyone’s feelings, it, at the very least, brought various emotions to the surface. At least it did for me.

I came away from last week with many new revelations. I began asking myself, “Who am I to judge other people? I’m not perfect and neither is any one else, so who am I to judge any one else?”

Coming into this school knowing few people, I quickly learned that if I didn’t stop judging people by their physical appearances or by first impressions, I would have no friends.

I’ll admit that the first time I saw some of my now closest friends, I found myself thinking I would never be friends with them, purely based on my own judgments of how they looked or acted before I even bothered to get to know them.

As cliché as it may sound, we are always wrong to judge a book by its cover.

It’s so much easier for us to judge others because we will not have to take the time to get to know them.

I think last week’s diversity events were a strong first step in the right direction to remind students of what’s important.

Baby steps are key in such situations that take to time to change the way we view others.

The acceptance of others and the recognition of the many ways diversity affects students will take time.

However, these events have set that wheel in motion and, at the very least, have gotten students to think about the ways diversity exists here at Fairfield.

It’s time to give diversity a new connotation instead of accepting the word as something that separates us; instead, it should be something we celebrate for its ability to unite us.

People are rarely heard admitting that they are wrong, and that admittance is going to take time to be expressed by all.

It is my hope that this change will soon take effect and, hopefully, with more events like those that took place throughout Diversity Week, that change will only come sooner.

For all those of you who feel that this Diversity Grant was a waste of $6,000 and would have rather spent it on designer items or a fun weekend treating your friends to the bars, ask yourself if you’ve ever judged someone else.

If your answer is yes, then perhaps you’ll realize you should have spent less time making fun of the events and thinking of better uses for the money, and more time attending them and learning from their messages.

No one’s perfect, but no one has asked you to be. We all have the ability to change, everyone has something to offer, and everyone has something from which we can learn.

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