The school functions as an educational institution and as an agent of socialization. As an educational institution, the school is responsible for transferring subject knowledge, teaching life skills, such as following directions and meeting deadlines, and producing highly skilled manpower and research output to meet preconceived targets. As a primary agent of socialization in life, the school enables an individual with social skills learned through interactions with teachers, staff and other students. These functions when met, lead to the well-being and mutual understanding of people across the globe.
Relationships are powerful. Our one-to-one connections with each other are the foundation for change. And building relationships with people from different cultures, often many different cultures, is essential in building diverse communities that are powerful enough to achieve significant goals. This is why universities should provide communities that support diversity, equal opportunities and inclusion. Starting by recognizing differences in religion, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, parenting, and class backgrounds will help create a climate that welcomes differences; it will also lay the groundwork for becoming more inclusive.
Understanding and welcoming these differences will build sturdy and caring relationships based on trust, understanding, and shared goals. These relationships will foster the exchange of culture and ideas but most of all, highlight the importance of friendship and trust towards global growth.
In my country Nigeria, there are over two hundred and fifty ethnic groups which all have different norms and traditions. These differences have created a barrier among people of my nation which in turn as deterred the exponential growth and development of Nigeria.
However, there is one event that brings my fellow countrymen together – soccer. Whenever the national team is participating in soccer tournaments, the team can always count on the support of the Nigerian people. During moments like these, the people assemble, irrespective of their differences, to cheer the team to victory and also soliloquize with the team after a loss. Soccer represents the glue of my country; it is a game where ideas, joys, and sorrows are shared without discrimination. Within a diverse campus community, there must be interactions among members. The university can provide initiatives that will encourage relations among students through student organizations and campus events, acting as glue. Student organizations such as multicultural organizations, sports teams, music clubs and campus events such as festivals, potluck dinners, concerts, international student weeks and summer sessions promote involvement, facilitate leadership development and encourage student growth.
Universities are also responsible for educating students on their civic duties: the roles students have to play towards the development of society. Students can contribute by engaging in public service and leadership which should be encouraged by universities. Given the position they are placed, students can cause great change in their communities through small continuous efforts. Engaging students in public service, while they are still enrolled in school, will fashion in them a sense of responsibility towards the wellbeing of others and the attitude of giving back to society.
Building the character of students towards that of a global citizen is also a role the universities have to fulfill towards uplifting the well-being and mutual understanding of people across the globe. Through study abroad opportunities, for example, students can learn outside the classroom, interact with a new community, form bonds with others and broaden their horizons. Experiences such as this, transform students into change agents, leaders and active members of society.
As a student at Miami University, I intend to collaborate with other students, teachers and staff to foster a sense of shared experience and commit to making the university an intellectual home for all. Each one of us is like a hub of a wheel. If each person builds a network of diverse and strong relationships, to achieve community goals, then we can come together and solve the problems that we have in common.
As an international student, I will be serving as a student diplomat, a liaison and a representation of my national values and ideas. I will be a good roommate, laboratory partner, team member, and an even better friend. Building lasting relationships with people from different cultures will facilitate an understanding which will allow us to co-exist peacefully.
We all carry misinformation and stereotypes about people in different cultures. Especially, when we are young, we acquire this information in bits and pieces from the media, from listening to people talk, and from the culture at large. As community builders, understanding culture is our business. No matter where we live, we are working with and establishing relationships with people-people who all have cultures. Culture is a strong part of people\'s lives. It influences their views, their values, their humor, their hopes, their loyalties, and their worries and fears. I aim to educate myself and other students on stereotypes and avoid preconceived notions that pose a hindrance to our relationships with others. I will forge opinions on others and their culture by myself and through my experiences and encourage fellow students to do the same.
Playing an active role in student organizations that advocate for diversity, equality, and inclusion is an interest of mine and a few clubs in Miami University captivate me. The FARM club, which studies the sustainability of food systems and their impact on human and environmental health is an approach to learn about matters such as global sustenance and health over a nice meal and a relaxing atmosphere. What an experience I look forward to! JANUS forum, Comparative Religion Student Organization, Break out of Miami, Miami Ambassadors Creating Change and Miami University Global Health Alliance are some of the organizations which will offer the opportunity to explore my interests.
College is not just a stepping stone towards a successful career; rather it is a period of intellectual, social and personal growth for all involved parties. It is a place to dream big, act boldly and thrive. What better place to learn, grow and succeed than in college.