“When everyone identifies with one identity and you identify with another, it just creates this imbalance of power,” Cross Cultural Centers assistant director Erin Echols said.
Add one straw to a camel’s back and no one will notice. Add a few more and not many will care. But when the proverbial backbreaking straw comes along, everything else spills out as well.
The recent “Colonial Bros and Nava-hos” party was the tipping point for neglected minority students, Cross Cultural Centers assistant director Erin Echols said.
The uproar over the party was directly tied to minorities feeling they had no one to stand up for them, Echols said. Unrecognized injustices regularly occur on campus, but the party and its aftermath served as a platform for students to voice their displeasure.
“It’s not only the incident, but it’s more a cumulative series of micro-aggressions,” Echols said. “When everyone identifies with one identity and you identify with another, it just creates this imbalance of power.”
The Cross Cultural Centers consists of the Multicultural Center, the Pride Center and the Gender Equity Center. The three centers were grouped together in July to help students embrace more than one aspect of their identity, Echols said.
Even small culturally insensitive incidents can make students insecure, Echols said.
“Maybe someone only says something negative once a month, but it adds up,” she said. “It might be things people don’t mean, but don’t understand the implications of what they’re saying.”
The Cross Cultural Centers were involved in setting up a campus forum on Nov. 22, which saw students and staff unanimously criticize the party.