Haley Scholars Spring 2013 Reading Groups
By Cindy Lyles
In his essay “True Colors” from What the Dog Saw, Malcolm Gladwell discusses how hair-dye
related to a variety of ideas and processes concerning cultural
perspectives, psychology, feminism, and identity. Gladwell notes, at one
point, that quite a few things were “bound up together, the profound
and the trivial.” So, he makes a case for including issues associated
with hair and coloring when writing the history of women in the postwar
The notion that seemingly “trivial” issues might in fact be integral to
major historical and cultural shifts is fascinating, even if it runs
somewhat counter to popular conceptions of significant events.
Let’s consider these issues locally.
When and if we write an educational history at SIUE and more
specifically, an educational history of “underrepresented” students at
SIUE, what ‘profound and trivial’ issues might we be inclined to discuss
at the same time? Why?
The issues concerning "underrepresented" students should include the lack of thought for lower class students and the test policy. For some science classes there is a notebook of notes in the class that can be bought in the class, but it can be expensive. Without the notebook it can be quiet difficult to take notes, and ultimately it leads to not having all the proper material to study.The test is normally based of the notebook, so it basically leaves the people without it in the dark.
Many students like to get involved in different organizations. Greek life is pretty important on campus. Dues are just as important in Greek life but not everyone can afford it. Sororities and Fraternities should take that into consideration. Some people may be apprehensive about pledging because the fees can get expensive. These organizations may miss out on wonderful members because of this.
Many students who come to college were once members of sports teams at their respected high schools. But a lot of colleges, including our SIUE make it difficult to join their collegiate division 1 teams. if not offered a scholarship, it actually costs students to join the teams. If the prices were not so high, maybe more people would want to " walk on" teams like track and field and cross country who need a large to compete with other schools.
When I think of underrepresented students, I think of the ones that would like to get involved but cannot due to financial problems and possibly lack of knowledge of resources on campus. At many large universities there are many times students would like to join an organization whether it's greek, athletic, or just something they're interested in but do not know where to go to get more information about joining. These are "underrepresented" students in my eyes because the organizations lose out on a chance to add a member. A member that could have had the potential to do great things within the organization.
Underrepresented students are those that haven't found their voice yet. These students are at a disadvantage but most obstacles can be overcome with wit and a positive attitude. If one doesn't have the resources but still wants to excel they will find a way to get the job done
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