Mix-It-Up: A Step in the Right Direction
By The Executive Board
Last Sunday the Multicultural Resource Center partnered up with Random Acts of Kindness and the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee to bring Mix It Up to the front room of Valentine. Mix-It-Up was an opportunity for students to sit and have dinner not with the people they regularly sit with but with other students they may have not met or even seen before. Mix It Up also included safeguards against potentially awkward moments (or just ways to decrease the awkwardness) such as a list of questions or topics to discuss in case the conversation ball was difficult to get rolling. The purpose of the event was to give students a chance to meet other students who they may not have met otherwise, to put a name to the faces they cross every day on their way to class and to encourage students to branch out beyond their typical group of bros and buddies.

We’ve all experienced it: you are walking to class and suddenly come across someone you vaguely know, someone you may have met once. You aren’t quite sure if you remember his or her name. You’re less than positive they remember your name. You approach each other. Should you say hi? Will that be awkward? Does he or she even remember me? What if he or she doesn’t? All of a sudden, a particularly large dewdrop hanging on a grass blade captures your attention and you turn your head. Likewise, a shiny rock by the side of the road has caught the attention of your passerby. After you pass the person, you can finally straighten up and look forward. Your neck is strained. But why not say hi?

It’s very easy break the Amherst awkwardness. All it takes is a simple hello and an open mind. A great first step to this was Mix It Up. However, students should take the initiative outside of a school-sponsored event. Whether is it casual greeting to a passerby, a subtle head nod or a brief (non-creepy) smile, a small gesture goes a long way. If more people are open to this then, perhaps a little bit of the awkwardness prevalent on campus will go away.

We hope Mix It Up does not become an one-time occurrence. If it were possibly held once a month or even more frequently, it would encourage more people to participate. If it were held again, other people that could not otherwise attend the first time, or those that just didn’t feel like it that specific Sunday could have the opportunity to become involved. The more people who participate the more new faces you get to know, the more people you get to learn about, the more stories you get to hear. There are so many people on this campus with interesting stories, backgrounds and aspirations. This is the one time in your life where you will be surrounded by such a dynamic mix of people, and we must take advantage of this melting pot. From athletes to mathletes, this school runs the whole gamut. This College prides its on its diversity, but it’s not enough to just have diversity. The value and strength of diversity is only experienced through interacting with and understanding all of the students that populate this campus. We appreciated the efforts of organizations that put Mix It Up together because only through action can there be progress. We recognize that although Mix It Up did not completely change things around Amherst, it is a step in the right direction. Even a tiny pebble tossed in our melting pot can create many ripples.

Issue 06, Submitted 2010-10-20 01:47:12