This Week’s Coffee and Culture Squashes Diversity Myths
Sam Bruun and Katie Teske discuss what diversity means at Coffee & Culture last week. Photo by Emily Hoffmann.

This Week’s Coffee and Culture Squashes Diversity Myths

Students filed into the Legacy Room of the Dreyfus University Center on Sept. 9 for free coffee and the chance to listen to Ron Strege, director of diversity and college access, at the first Coffee and Culture event of the semester.

Ron Strege captivated students by informing them of common misconceptions about diversity. Strege discussed the myth of “them” versus “us.” He explained that some people do not realize at one point or another, everyone has been

Ron Strege, director of diversity and college access, speaks to students at this semester's first Coffee and Culture event. Photo by Emily Hoffmann.

Ron Strege, director of diversity and college access, speaks to students at this semester’s first Coffee and Culture event. Photo by Emily Hoffmann.

considered “them.”

Strege asked audience members to name words that describe the people who are classified as “them.” The audience came up with a long list. At the end of this activity, he asked if there was at least one word on the list that described audience members.

Hands went up all over the room.

Ron Strege speaks to students about common misconceptions about diversity. Photo by Emily Hoffmann.

Ron Strege speaks to students about common misconceptions about diversity. Photo by Emily Hoffmann.

Some students enjoyed discussing diversity over coffee in a relaxed environment.

“I enjoyed Strege’s enthusiasm for the subject and how open-minded he is,” said Victoria Nellessen, a junior wildlife ecology major. She also enjoyed hearing what Strege had to say concerning the concept of “them.”

“I agreed with what he had to say about personal identity and how everyone is ‘them,’” Nellessen said. “Them’ is us.”

Throughout Strege’s presentation, the audience interacted with each other. For one activity, everyone was told to talk to at least 10 people in the room and discuss one similarity and difference they had. This activity helped everyone realize it is not hard to find at least one thing in common with a stranger.

Cassie Silvernale, a junior political science and international studies major, attended Strege’s presentation because of her interest in diversity.

“I think Strege did a good job at presenting the issues clearly instead of dancing around them,” Silvernale said.

She also said Strege remained organized throughout his presentation when discussing each diversity myth.

Strege is optimistic about the way students and faculty view and treat each other on campus.

“I am a firm believer that racists are the minority on campus,” Strege said. “I believe that there is a core group of faculty and students who want to make this a better place.”

Caroline Chalk

Reporter

cchal845@uwsp.edu

About Anyon Rettinger

Anyon Rettinger
I am a senior at UW-Stevens Point studying communication with an emphasis in public relations and a minor in music performance. As the co-editor-in-chief, I write editorials occasionally but I primarily focus my energy into administratively managing the staff and driving content. Away from The Pointer, I am the PR Director of the UWSP chapter of PRSSA, a campus tour guide, work as a communication and marketing specialist and university blogger in University Communication and Marketing and a marketing consultant for CREATE Portage County. In my free time, I listen to a lot of music, sing and play piano, blog and work as a freelance publicist and designer. I travel as much as I can and like to think I am a decent photographer (check out my Instagram, @i.am.anyon). A few of my favorite things include Waitress The Musical, furniture, boneless wings, journals and mojitos. Follow my social media platforms to learn more about me and my work!

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