Many incoming students and their parents are being guided around campus for the first time. This is one of their first opportunities to be introduced not only to this campus, but to the city of Auburn and its culture.
Thursday, just before 4 p.m., I was walking on the outdoor staircases of Haley Center when I stopped to watch as people gathered on the concourse to watch two guys perform a stepping routine.
I thought it was pretty cool that something spontaneous was happening; those are the things that make going to school full-time in the summer more bearable.
Many of the campers as well as their counselors stopped momentarily to watch the performance. I happened to be behind one of the (CWE) groups that had just walked over from watching the stepping routine. Following them into Haley, I overheard one of the campers say, “He (counselor) said it was a black thing.”
The counselor confirmed what he said and then went on to say that “they do things like that [inaudible time length].”
I was disappointed to hear someone say such a remark, and I am especially disappointed that it was a counselor for Camp War Eagle.
It appauls me to think that one of the first experiences those campers have on campus is someone proclaiming a racial stereotype. I would hope that the University trains the camp counselors on cultural competency prior to becoming a student representative of the University.
One could only imagine what kind of message that sends to the incoming students.
I would certainly not like to hear someone in response to the word ignorance say, “That’s an Auburn thing.”