SPRINGFIELD, Ohio — With an incoming class of 643 students, including 33 international students, 39 non-African American students and 28 African-American students, Wittenberg is well on the way to reaching its goals of broadening the university’s diversity spectrum. As part of the New Student Day activities, Concerned Black Students (CBS) hosted a luncheon for multicultural students and their parents as a way to acquaint them with one another and the university, as well as to celebrate the diversity of the Wittenberg community.
The luncheon served as a time for members of CBS to address questions and concerns of new students and their parents, and to let them know they have a place to call home on a predominantly white campus. Terraya Lewis of Cleveland Heights, Ohio, class of 2007 and president of CBS, led a session with the first-year students that helped them understand the vision of the longtime campus organization.
“CBS isn’t just for African-American students,” said Lewis, who is adamant about educating the entire campus about CBS, a diverse group that’s always looking to expand across racial and ethnic lines.
Ranel Jacobs of Toledo, Ohio, class of 2007, attended the luncheon in hopes of attracting attention to Connectors, a new program implemented by Wittenberg’s Office of Multicultural Affairs. The program pairs upperclassmen with first-year students in hopes of creating a kind of “buddy system,” which will afford new students increased opportunities to meet new people.
“This will give multicultural students a chance to really connect with somebody because it can be hard to make friends,” Jacobs said. “It’s not just going to be a one-time thing. These will be long lasting connections.”
As much as the new students were informed of the fun opportunities to come during their Wittenberg career, no stone was left unturned as they were reminded of why they are really here.
“We are students first and foremost,” said Lewis. “Our education is what we came here for.”
Students can easily fall into the trap of procrastination, but a few words from a Wittenberg faculty member and alumni put the importance of valuing your education into perspective.
“If you start on a high mark, you’ll end on a mark you’re proud of,” said John Marr, class of 1981 and currently assistant to the president at Wittenberg. “If you establish yourself as a serious student now, 25 years from now, the connections you made here will help you with your future.”
- Erica Strauss '07
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