Editorial: Unchecked privilege leads to discrimination

Recent events on Augustana’s campus have caused an ongoing issue to surface, not only concerning the multicultural incidents, but the factors that lead to discrimination, such as race, religion, sexual orientation, politics or socioeconomic status.
While Augustana provides a diverse academic program, its ability to create an environment of inclusiveness has been less than desirable. Yes, there are programming boards and clubs in place, but these do not go far enough.
In campus culture, unity and acceptance still are not promoted as heavily as they should be. There is an environment of exclusivity and isolation rather than one large community that embraces its diversity.
Recently, Augustana held an open forum concerning racial and political harassment incidents. While the forum provided an honest conversation between approximately 100 people in attendance, the majority of the audience was faculty and staff.
Student attendance should have been more heavily emphasized. Wouldn’t you expect your SGA class senator to be in attendance at that forum? Student leaders?
This isn’t just a matter of racial prejudice. It’s an issue of privilege, something students rarely discuss since the white privilege summits have been discontinued. Privilege is something that is often taken out of the equation when considering incidents like this.
Discrimination can happen anywhere, to anyone. Socioeconomic background, gender, etc. are all important factors, and they affect more than just the multicultural community. They affect the entire Augustana community, which is why we should emphasize inclusiveness rather than exclusivity.
Augustana has good intentions, but the execution of ideas, forums and discussions often stays behind closed doors and with a very small portion of the student body. It’s time for a campus wide effort, rather than mild conversations that appear each time an incident occurs.