Take advantage of opportunity for diversity


Editorial Board

The Issue:

Students in the College of Ag and Bio seem to be isolated from the other eight colleges within SDSU.

The Stance:

Students from every college need to step outside their comfort zones and take advantage of the academic diversity SDSU offers.

On Oct. 16, the SDSU Dairy Judging Team won third place at the 86th Collegiate Dairy Products Evaluation Contest and one member placed first overall. SDSU has several other judging teams who place high, sometimes first, at their national contests: the meat judging team placed second at their national competition last year and a flower judging team member placed first at the 2004 national competition.

The judging teams are not the only agriculturally based groups that achieve success. The national president of Post-Secondary Ag Students is a Jackrabbit and several SDSU students are state FFA officers in South Dakota and Minnesota.

How many people knew any of this before reading this editorial?

SDSU was founded as the state’s agricultural school and the College of Ag and Bio is the largest of all the colleges that make up the university, but activities that happen within the College of Ag and Bio seem to stay within the College of Ag and Bio.

One reason Ag and Bio students seem to be so seperated from other students is the isolation of facilities used by the college. Almost any building related to the College of Ag and Bio is located on the northwest corner of the SDSU campus, and some are even farther away-on the north side of the Highway 14 bypass.

Another reason the separation between “farm kids” and “townies” exists is because of the unofficial designation of Hansen Hall as the agricultural hall. While the Department of Residential Life has made it a point to try to increase diversity within the residence halls, the history of Hansen seems to have made the cowboy stereotype legendary. The sheer size of the college could easily be a reason for the segregation; why would you feel the need to branch out when there are 2,705 other students with similar majors?

At a school with 11,706 students on a 422-acre campus, students should take advantage of the opportunity to interact with a more diverse group of peers than they were exposed to during their previous years. Students are allowed to take a certain number of electives in order to accumulate enough credits to graduate. Take a risk and complete those electives by taking a class you might not have considered otherwise. If you’re a geography major, try taking a painting class; if you’re an animal science major, try taking a dance class. Use the time to make friends you wouldn’t make in that upper-level, major-specific course.

If you don’t want to pay the money for credits you probably will not use in your career, attend a meeting for a club off of your beaten path. Not every student organization at SDSU is geared toward an academic specialization.

College is supposed to be a time where students get their first taste of worlds they never knew existed, but so many students expect this exposure to just happen. SDSU has students from nearly all walks of life and from all four corners of the planet. Push your own envelope and broaden your own horizons. No one but you can make you experience life.