A chance to be open

Editorial Board

It’s kind of ironic when you think about it, but in another sense, it’s an incredible opportunity.

By coincidence alone, the Big Eight Conference on Black Student Government is coming Iowa State’s way — and soon. More than 1,000 black student leaders from throughout the Midwest are expected in Ames Thursday. Many will be here until Sunday.

Black POWER Revisited is the theme, a theme that incorporates unity, overcoming adversity, education, history and action. And given recent criticisms of ISU’s diversity climate, there’s apparently a lot we can learn from our sisters and brothers of color.

Although many events required registration, the influx of black student leaders gives us the chance, at least, to put aside our stereotypes and fears for a few days in favor of an attitude of openness.

We have the chance to not look at people differently because their skin is a different color. We have the chance to talk and befriend students — like ourselves — from other cultures and different ethnic backgrounds. We have the chance to meet people and learn outside of comfort zones.

And most importantly, we have the chance to show everyone the ISU community can indeed be hospitable to men and women who are simply shooting for the same things we are.

It’s a good chance to be nice, be honest, be open, be inclusive and be genuine.

We welcome those attending the Big Eight Conference on Black Student Government. We hope they can look past some of our shortcomings to enjoy a university for which we all have at least some affection.