From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. this Thursday, the atrium of Pamplin Hall will host "A Diversity Jubilee," an event sponsored by the Multicultural Diversity Committee. Virginia Tech is home to several different organizations dedicated to the importance of diversity, and the upcoming event is a way for students to take a look at a variety of opportunities for broadening their perspective.
In addition to free food, the open house event will provide plenty of information about what Tech's multicultural organizations have planned for the future, and the ways students can get involved.
"We welcome everybody to come in and look around and see what's available," said Roberta Russell, a Business Information Technology professor and member of the Pamplin Multicultural Diversity Committee. "There are a number of things we do in the college, and we wanted to bring it all together so people could see about it at the beginning of the semester. It's kind of nice that it corresponds with Martin Luther King Jr. week."
One of the popular topics covered in the event is the business uiversity minor, which is available to all students. The course is made up of classes that focus on how diversity affects both legal and social issues, as well as ethical dilemmas. While the words "diversity minor" might seem out of place among other minor degrees like real estate or leadership, Russell believes it's critical to meet people who can contribute different ideas and perspectives.
"Companies are looking for students who have experience working in groups with people from different backgrounds and understanding things," she said.
In fact, many businesses will go out of their way to encourage it. During the annual Diversity Conference, which is held later in the spring semester, several companies host workshops that teach students the importance of diversity in an office setting.
"It's always easier to work with people who are just like you," Russell said. "It's a little harder to work with people who are different, but the results are a lot better because you get a lot of different ideas, new approaches to problem solving, new approaches to marketing a product. It just opens up a whole new world."
In addition to the members of both the Multicultural Diversity Committee and Council, the event will feature representatives from the National Association of Black Accountants, the Multicultural Center and the Diversity Center.
"Whether it's recruiting faculty or recruiting students, we're making sure that we have a climate here that's conducive to different points of view," Russell said.
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