Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Outliers & Reflections

Haley Scholar Reading Groups

In many respects, our decision to organize a common reading of Malcolm Gladwell's Outliers was based on evidence that “underrepresented” students are, well, underrepresented as participants in major academic and extracurricular intellectual activities at SIUE.

We figured that an interactive, common reading project like ours might advance our goal of expanding scholarly participation and learning opportunities among Haley Scholars--a group that involves one of the largest racially and ethnically diverse mixes of folks on campus.

So after reading Outliers, what’s something that you think university officials should be thinking about more often in order to remove barriers to success that impede large numbers of students of color or underrepresented students at SIUE?  Or, what's a topic that Gladwell raised concerning "special opportunities" that deserves more of our attention at SIUE, for instance, if our interest is in seeing a larger, more diverse group of students succeed?  

20 comments:

M Garcia said...

I believe that as a university, SIUE is doing a great job at enabling us as part of unrepresented groups to be successful. I do believe, though, that in order to remove all barriers that stop us from becoming everything that we can be, there must first be a change in the mentality that we are unrepresented. I do believe that as part of SIUE, we are represented as Haley Scholars, we are represented as Black, Latino, Asian, etc. We are represented as members of a society that will inevitably change the future to a more tolerant and more solid civilization. All officials can do is remember to not call us unrepresented. The more we are called unrepresented, the more unrepresented we become. We must stop being called minorities and simply be people. In the end, that is all we are and as people, we can unite and change the world.

Cara C. said...

I believe that being a part of an underrepresented group has allowed me to be more successful in my year here at SIUe. Being a minority has allowed me to be a part of this Outliers group, which in turn gave me the opportunity to read the book. The context was in somewhat an inspiration to me. I was able to see how hard work really does pay off for anyone, even though you are considered a "minority". These stories were a driving factor in wanting to make myself work hard as well.

Stephanie M said...

I believe that SIUE should not look at us as a minority, or underrepresented. We all posses knowledge and skills that got us into college and into this Outliers group. Maybe the university should not segregate us by underrepresented or not, but by our out right character and personality traits. The color of our skin does not make us who we are. The Outliers group should possibly be based on a volunteer basis so that only those who care will participate, and not see these blog posts and other meetings as a chore, but an opportunity to show the world and SIUE who they are.

Ashley said...

I definitely think SIUE already does a fantastic job with breaking down barriers. I think all of the culture nights and events help out a lot.

Dylan P said...

I think a way to bring down barriers is to avoid viewing people by their cultural identity. Instead, looking at people as human beings is the most important and fundamental aspect of our humanity. Although cultural nights help different people express their culture, but the primary focus should be on the dignity and humanity of all people.

Megan L. said...

I think that SIUE is doing a good job with enabling under represented groups. All the many cultural events contribute to awareness and success. Even the Haley Scholars and this opportunity to come together and read this book is helping to recognize minorities and move them toward success. But still we shouldn't label ourselves as under represented and minority because we can't let that hold us back as people.

Beau B. said...

I believe that SIUE already does a great job to have all ethnicities of people be involved with each other. I think that University officials should consider having more public speaking events, where students can listen to other students tell their stories of success. People can then learn from others and share common study habits or other skills that will help people in school or life. Students can learn a lot from other students, so by listening SIUE students can help each other succeed. All students should be treated equal, since we are all people, and not be sorted by a race.

Tiara Y. said...

I think that SIUE does pretty good job with breaking down barriers. There are several cultural events that the school has that incorporates different races. Although you can still tell who most of the events are held for, at least the school and campus organizations are showing some effort.

Robin Huang said...

After reading the book, I think that it is important to always take into consideration that barriers that underrepresented students face when trying to compete with those that are better represented. The difference starts from the beginning, the first days in school, to the day of graduation. Schools should always keep in mind that they need to provide the resources for all underrepresented individuals to improve their performance. Everyone has the capability to do well, but not everyone has the resources needed to get there. Also, participation on campus should also be taken into account. Fitting in is huge dilemma faced by underrepresented students and in order to avoid it, there needs to be changes on campus so students will accept one another. For example, providing was for people to be exposed to new cultures and better understand their classmates.

Christina R. said...

I'll be honest and say that I'm not sure I ever thought of myself as part of an underrepresented group, simply because I don't define myself just by my ethnicity or race. And I don't see others just by their skin color either because that's not what really makes us who we truly are. Our thoughts, ideas, and experiences make us who we really are. So maybe SIUe officials should stop focusing so much on grouping us by our physical features and just focus on our common goals, and not whether we're considered a "minority."

Charlene Y said...

SIUE has done a great job breaking down the barriers'. The culture nights, though I've been once, is a great way for people to be exposed to other peoples cultures. Maybe advertising more abut culture nights and try to get more students to come. Try other activities during the day to try to get the majority to be more involved.

Sandy Pham said...

If we think of ourselves as underrepresented, we will allow others to see us as underrepresented. If we take a stand and get involved in other groups around campus, then we wouldn't seem as if we're underrepresented. It's all in our mind. If we all work hard, we are all equal, no matter the race or even gender. SIUe has a nice diversity within its community, especially within this Haley Scholars group.

Zoe Ramirez said...

I think that SIUE is doing a very good job representing the underrepresented groups. But I think that they shouldn't refer to us as minorities even underrepresented. If they really want to break down those barriers then they have to stop putting us in a group of our own. We are all human I don't think that the color of our skin should determine whether we get certain scholarships or not, it's really unfair.

Brenda W said...

I feel SIUE does a great job of preventing racial barriers already. One of the main reasons I chose SIUE over many other excellent schools was because of the comfort and diversity I feel here. The first time I visited I noticed how all the races seemed to be one; nobody seemed underrepresented. I am always telling my family at home that I do not feel like a minority at my school, it feels like all the races are 50/50 here.The only thing I would suggest SIUE implement would be including the students with potential but no drive. So many students have so much to offer our university but do not know where to begin.

Ridge Lin said...

SIUE can be seen as diversed, but too a point where it impacts. The scholarships help bring in more diversed people by by enabling them the opportunity to attend this campus. I do not see students as being under-represented on this campus because there are so many variety of people. In fact it allows people of all backgrounds to mix and mingle. We represent what the movement of the world should be in term of equality. The Outliers book has opened my views to a whole new perspective on how to view certain situations. It has help greatly improve my academic success tenfold and I am glad for having participated.

Vanessa C. said...

Honestly, I believe that SIUe is already doing a wonderful job at enabling students of color to be successful. There are many cultural events on campus, groups, and even this, the Haley Scholars program and that's great. However, referring to students of color as 'underrepresented' students is unnecessary. We are all equal no matter what race group we're in. Intellect is what should always matter.

Ashley R. said...

I think University officials already do a great job of integrating different races into our school and housing and it is very diverse here.They always have cultural events that allow students to experience other cultures. I think it can even be improved by more financial aid for underrepresented groups to give us the chance to be successful. Also, incorporating more study abroad students and having them tell their stories to really diversify the student population.

Grace Figgers said...

SIUE is commendable in its effort to support underrepresented people on campus through its Student Success initiative such as the Writing Center. By underrepresented, I mean students who have not had the same opportunities as others. SIUE makes it easier to catch up. The fact that a large group of these people collectively read "Outliers" is amazing because it speaks to the doubts and uncertainties holding people back.

Evan Lawler said...

I think that SIUE is very good at integrating unrepresented students. There is a variety of students here and it makes it easier to interact and become familiar with the unfamiliar.

Evan Lawler said...

I think that SIUE is very good at integrating unrepresented students. There is a variety of students here and it makes it easier to interact and become familiar with the unfamiliar.