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