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For week ended March 19, 2000 Posted 24 Feb 2001
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News about Mormons, Mormonism,
and the LDS Church
Sent on Mormon-News: 14Mar00

Summarized by Kent Larsen

LDS Student's Essay On Diversity In Christian Science Monitor
Christian Science Monitor 14Mar00 P2
By Susan Starkweather

BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS -- An LDS student from Westminister College in Salt Lake City had her essay on diversity published in the Christian Science Monitor. In the essay, Susan Starkweather says that attending a college where students had a wide variety of backgrounds helped her reexamine her own ideas and helped her to better understand tolerance.

Starkweather, a junior English major at Westminister, says that the diversity there was exactly the kind of experience she hoped for, "The first time I was on campus, I saw a large variety of people who accepted each other, and I understood tolerance to be one of the ideals the college furthered. I knew it would be a good experience for me to associate with people of diverse ages, ethnicities, religions, and socioeconomic backgrounds, because I had been raised in a very sheltered community where most of the residents were, like my family, Mormons."

In the essay, she compares her high school education to her college education, noting that in high school the coursework concentrated on European and American culture. "In fact, some students tended to degrade and ignore the students who tried to share their different cultures." she writes.

And Starkweather concludes that the diversity she found at Westminister changed her for the better, "Coming from a sheltered community, I encountered a major culture shock when I moved to Salt Lake City and started at Westminster College. Now that the shock has worn off, I realize I have changed. I am more understanding of others and not as narrow-minded as I used to be. I think I have become a better person."

Starkweather plans to persue a career in journalism after graduating from Westminister next year.


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