Commentary: Yes, Grossmont is diverse, but is it really inclusive?

Masada Ellis

GROSSMONT COLLEGE — This is an open college to all walks of life regardless of gender, age, race and other natural things that seem to separate us all. Given Grossmont’s location in El Cajon, some might think that this would not be the case, but just take a look at the catalog’s cover, or the cover of the class schedule. There you will find students from almost every major ethnicity, ranging from African-American to European-American. Yet, with all this diversity, it seems that Grossmont still lacks in student camaraderie. 

I myself am a continuing student, having enrolled in the fall of 2009. Since my enrollment I have taken some 60 units, more than 20 classes. I have run into numerous students and have come to a single conclusion. The majority of students will not associate with you if you are not from their social group, or previous school system.

Whoa! Such a bold statement, indeed it is a bold statement, yet one that holds weight nonetheless. I am not from San Diego, nor did I attend any schools in San Diego, making me an outsider. Being 6’4 and Creole, black to everyone around me, has given me a chance to step back and look at at the campus.

True, Grossmont has wonderful clubs that do not fall into the category.  Every club is special and seem to forge bonds among  members. For students too busy with their lives that they have no time or opportunity to participate in these clubs, the campus can be hell for new students looking not only to fit in, but maybe find a study partner or even more.
A fellow student, who chooses to go by the name D.I.N.K, is another outsider with similar viewpoints as I have expressed.  D.I.N.K., a European-American from Northwest America, has faced similar struggles with classmates.  He has not been able to get with anyone to study, nor to socialize with anyone on campus.

Why is this? The answer that is most often given is that everyone here is in their own world and too busy to make any new connections. However true this may b,e there are still ways that Grossmont students can bond and get in tune with other students. One way being used by certain professors is to choose the study group for students, forcing them to interact with other students.

Those who come here having friends from high school may not notice, but this sense of isolation is a real problem for newcomers.  Anything that can be done to make out-of-town students feel part of the Grossmont College community would be most welcome.

Ellis is a student in Media Comm 132