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diversity

If you are a commuter student at Fontbonne who cannot afford a parking pass, like me, there is a key component to your day to day experience that most residential students do not get the pleasure of experiencing: commuter bus rides.  Now, it does depend on the time of day that you get to see the widest array of backgrounds on the bus.  However, it only takes three steps up the bus’ stairs to gaze into the eyes of Fontbonne’s diversity.  On an average ride from the commuter lot on Clayton Road to Fontbonne’s campus around 9 a.m. on an average Tuesday morning, I am only a few feet away from:

one international student from Beijing, China

three from Saudi Arabia

one from Iraq

a couple of grad students

a basketball player

a soccer player

a baseball player who I most likely would never get close enough to smell had I not taken the bus and sat next to

a softball player

a professor, and

a bearded, non traditional student clearly practicing a speech of some sort.

These are people I would see as I cautiously cross the yellow sidewalks of Fontbonne on any given day.  There, the cowardly lion inside begs me not to open my mouth asking their name, or what their day requires of them.  But when I am on that 4 wheeled diesel, I cannot help but open my mouth to discover those things.  As I walk up those stairs, I have on my red, glittery slippers.  I take a seat.  I’m inquisitive as I remember that the clock is ticking before the Wizard parks the bus in front of Ryan Hall.

Typically I open a conversation with a joke or a compliment.  One particular instance I started an exchange with a baseball player when we both chuckled from witnessing a poor woman in a car beside us spilling food on her blouse.  I later came to find out that we knew a few of the same people from high school.  On another occasion I offered an international student a ride back to Cotta Hall when it was raining so she would not have to walk home without an umbrella.  We ended up swapping phone numbers, and are currently still friends.  These are just a couple examples of what can happen on a commuter bus without the walls of the academic buildings limiting the probability of meeting new people.

I am beyond thankful that I attend to a school with such a welcoming and diverse atmosphere.  I used to never think there were perks to being a low income student, but when I am on that bus, the culture and the opportunity to learn as much as I can in seven minutes about someone new, is worth more than buying a parking pass.

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Hello FBU! One thing that is great about Fontbonne is its extreme value for diversity. In honor of Diversity Week, I enjoyed going to the interfaith panel held in the AMC hall. I can truly appreciate and respect that we all have different beliefs, cultures, and faiths. It is so important to have an open mind about other  religions. I may not agree with their dogmas, beliefs, or rituals but I can understand the passion of having a connection with a higher power. I also learned of a religion that I had never heard of before; Baha’i. I can’t really explain it but it started about a century and half ago. I will be looking it up just to get a better understanding of it. Of course, this panel was facilitated by the religions instructor, Mr. Steve Stopke. I have said it before in another post, but he is definitely a great teacher in his field, and he is part of the reason why I have a fascination about other religions besides my own (Christianity). I hope you all get a chance to experience something different or out of your comfort zone this week, because you will be glad that you did. Check out the weekly e-mails about the events and activities that FBU has going on each week, and find a way to partake in them. Have great, diverse week FBU community!

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Lizzie

Let’s Blog :)

by Lizzie on February 1, 2012

in Campus Community

Hey everyone, I’m finally getting back into blogging. To start off, I am happy to be back in school. My classes so far are interesting and very educational. Not too long ago, we had the Chinese New Year Dinner at the Mandarin House which was a wonderful event! It’s great to meet so many different ethnicities in one school :) Don’t you love diversity? I sure do!

Anyway, I’m a part of Fontbonne’s International Student Association now and it’s a great opportunity to meet other international students. Of course, anyone is welcomed. Fortunately for me, I got to know Isabella (Izzy) Liu, Toan Vu, Sydney, and many others. There are some exciting events coming up with the organization, so I hope everyone will participate in them!

I guess that will be all for now. Have a great rest of the week! :D

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Daleks. Weeping angels. The TARDIS.

Any idea what I’m talking about? Only if you’re a fan of the British sci-fi show Doctor Who! (In which case, can we be friends?)

As my friend (and fellow blogger) Brooke says, “You never know who’s going to be a Doctor Who fan, but once you find someone who is one, you know you’ll like them.” There’s an immediate bond when two complete strangers find out they both watch Doctor Who. Something about British humor and geeking-out brings people together, I guess.

The event that prompted this quote was when a cookie-jar-sized TARDIS (or for you earthlings, a time machine cleverly disguised as a royal-blue British Police Box) flashed before my eyes as I passed a professor’s office in the East building the other day.  She had a TARDIS on her desk.

I did a double-take.  I gasped.  I about fainted.  In short, I was floored.

See, I’ve been familiar with Doctor Who since forever, thanks to my extended family. They raised me in the old-school Doctor Who tradition, teaching me about the original seasons, the Doctor’s iconic scarf, and the sacred rule of “No Kissing in the TARDIS” (which in the newer seasons has been essentially thrown out the window with suggestive plots, much to the displeasure of the old guard). Only as a senior in high school did I ever meet another person who knew the show. (And, I should add, to know the show is to love it. It’s an extremely well-written show, with complex plots and plenty of witty (and often just plain silly) humor.)

To clarify for the ignorant: The show airs on BBC, BBC America, as well as in reruns on the PBS station down in the Ozarks.  Doctor Who, more commonly referred to as simply “The Doctor,” is a Time Lord who regularly saves the Earth from evil aliens (often the robotic, trashcan-like Daleks or terrifying Weeping Angels) and regenerates his human form periodically, with a different actor introduced as The Doctor every few seasons (note: this switching-out of actors, necessitated by the storyline, has resulted in Doctor Who being the longest-running sci-fi show in the world!). When he regenerates, the people who accompany him on his intergalactic adventures (usually women) change, too.  Hope I haven’t lost you by now.  If you’re still reading, keep going – the crux of the matter is at hand.

Anyway, since I’ve gotten to Fontbonne, I’ve found a BUNCH of people who watch the show and I’ve had some great conversations about which Companions are the best (My vote’s for Amy Pond, btw.). Finally meeting other followers of the show makes me realize the beauty of college: the converging of people from many ways of life results in DIVERSITY – of religion, socioeconomic background, and even television preferences and senses of humor! I’m so glad I’ve found people who like the same things as me:  specifically, a nerdy show that centers on a noble, adorable alien who saves the world (No, not “before bedtime” – that’s the Powerpuff Girls.).

Brooke and I poked our heads into the professor’s office after our class to admire her TARDIS, and she was very excited to find people at the school who appreciated the TARDIS and Doctor Who for all their glory. In an instant, we launched into a conversation about the show and its spin-offs.  See?  I told you there’s a bond.

Gimme a shout-out if you’re a Doctor Who fan! Who’s your favorite Doctor?

(Mine’s David Tennant.)

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Diversity at Fontbonne

by Alumni Posts April 8, 2011

Fontbonne is such a unique school.  We are very small and very diverse.  I believe that it is such an important part of our lives to be put in diverse atmospheres, so you can learn about how other people are raised and live.  Although we are a Catholic university, we have many different religions that […]

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Top 10 Things I’m Thankful For at Fontbonne

by Alumni Posts November 29, 2010

In the spirit of Thanksgiving, here are the top 10 things I’m thankful for at Fontbonne Unviersity: 1. My professors. They all care, and they all go out of their ways to help me succeed. 2. My friends. Some are my age, and some are older, but they’ve all helped to make my first semester […]

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Students writing for Real Life at Fontbonne are paid a small fee for each post by the university.