ENMU students learn about assumptions


Diversity can be defined in many ways for people, as evidenced by a Diversity Workshop held Aug. 29 at Eastern New Mexico University.

Diversity is everything that we are or that we aren’t. For some students, diversity was defined by age, gender, gender identity, languages or cultures.

ENMU’s Multicultural Affairs hosted the event in the Campus Union Building, opening it to the general public, with 31 participants, including the ENMU President Jeff Elwell and first lady Edwina Gower.

The workshop was to focus on a better explanation of diversity, according to its hosts. It started with a chart with different flavors of jelly beans. The flavors listed were cherry, orange, lemon, sour apple, licorice and coconut. In the first column, everyone was to write the dollar value ($1-$5) of the jelly beans based on only knowing the flavor.

Upon sharing their results, most participants agreed that they based the prices on the flavors that they liked. For example, if they didn’t like licorice, it was priced the lowest. If they liked cherry, it was priced the highest.

For the second column, jelly beans were passed out, and participants were asked to examine them then write the dollar value ($1-$5) based on the color of them. For the third column, everyone tasted the jelly beans and wrote the dollar value ($1-$5) based on their taste.

The twist to the activity was some of the jelly beans weren’t the flavors listed.

Coordinators of the event said the purpose of column one was to show how people make assumptions based on the information provided. People judged the jelly beans before knowing everything about them.

The purpose of column two was to show how people make assumptions based on colors. Participants stereotyped the jelly beans after they knew (or thought they knew) the flavors and colors of them. The purpose of column three was to show the reality of stereotyping and judging.

According to multicultural affairs members, the moral of the workshop was to inform people to not judge a book by its cover, because you may never know what you’ll end up with. Always get to know someone before you stereotype or judge them.

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