Quinnipiac students hold ‘Bridge The Gap’ event on campus
By Aaron Robinson
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. once said, “An individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity.”
This quote was one of the focal points of the “Bridge the Gap” discussion that took place on the evening of Thursday, Oct 26 in the Mount Carmel Auditorium at Quinnipiac University.
The discussion was sponsored by the latin sorority Chi Upsilon Sigma and co-sponsored by the latin fraternity Lambda Theta Phi as well as Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity inc.
It was the second annual “Bridge the Gap” discussion. The inaugural event last year was heavily attended, but not this year. This time, there were just over 20 people in attendance.
“I think people fear the unknown. I think people might hear bridge the gap and think it is going to be an attack on them when in fact it is the opposite,” said Destiny Dejesus, who sponsored the event as a member of of Chi Upsilon Sigma. Sophomore psychology major Darian Duah agreed.
“It seems like not many people on this campus want to learn different things about how to bring the community closer,” he said.
This sentiment is one that is felt by many minority students on campus. Many feel as though they are the only ones who care about issues such as inclusion and multiculturalism, and those values aren’t shared by many of their peers on campus.
“Not many people feel like they want to be more informed on other cultures and have the conversation at all,” said Stanley Jean Bart Jr., a sophomore health science major. “Whether it is time or just general preference of not wanting to seek out knowledge, I guess that’s why they didn’t come.”
Even though the event was not heavily attended, there is still a motivation to continue to have these events at Quinnipiac.
“I think events like this are always important on campuses like this one. Especially where us minority students are in the vast minority, so I think that the more we can talk about these challenging topics the better,” said Andrew Robinson, another event co-sponsor.
As far as solutions go, many students feel that there is only one way to improve race relations and interactions on campus.
“You got to be different,” said Duchaine Augusta, a junior marketing major. “You got to get out of your comfort zone and talk to somebody that you have never seen before and just start a conversation.”
This idea of getting out of your comfort zone was a recurring theme at the event. The hope is that students from all races will be able to reach out to each other and interact within the same social space without a fear of how they will be perceived.
“Bridge the Gap” organizers, sponsors and attendees again look to Dr. King’s words and implore their peers to “get out of the narrow confines of individualistic concerns” to broaden social circles and create dialogue between students of color and white students.