(Logo courtesy of UM-Dearborn)

By AMBER AINSWORTH, Editor-in-Chief 

This post is adapted from a post I made on Facebook at the end of last year. Given what I’ve witnessed and heard the past few months, and the current political campaigns going on in our nation, I believe it is still very relevant and needs to be published:

The other day while talking about going to school in Dearborn, I was told, “Oh, you go to school with THEM.” While who exactly “them” is wasn’t specified, I think it’s important to acknowledge who and what I have encountered at the University of Michigan-Dearborn.

I started college with the intention of doing two years and leaving. Now going into my fourth, I spend more time in Dearborn than I do at my own home, and I love every minute of it. The classes and the experience are great, but it’s the people that have made the past two and a half years the best years of my life. Never have I been surrounded by such a varied amount of people than when I am at that school.

UM-Dearborn has such a diverse population and the differences truly prove that we aren’t so different after all. The school brings together not only people from around the state but around the world, and to me, I feel so thankful to spend so much of my time at a place where I can learn and grow around so many different cultures and beliefs. I have watched people come together to volunteer, to hold prayer vigils when tragedies occur, to share culture and customs; I have not watched fighting or arguing over beliefs that don’t match or aren’t what we are used to or comfortable with. It’s not about race or religion or background. It is about college students, humans, coming together and being HUMAN.

I wish that more people could experience the almost overwhelming feeling of spending a day at UM-Dearborn, walking around campus, attending events, having conversations; there’s constantly something going on and there are always people coming together, most often for some common good.

Being surrounded by the community at that school, it’s far less about tolerance and it goes beyond just viewing people on the surface. What I see on that campus, among all groups of students regardless of who they are or what they believe, is love. I don’t mean to sound cliche or anything, but when I am at that school, I feel such an overpowering love from the students there who are chasing common goals that don’t include just obtaining a degree.

So yes, I go to school with “them.” I go to school with plenty of people, some being like myself and and some complete opposites of me, and I am so blessed that I have so many friends, acquaintances and classmates to open my eyes to the world and open my mind to thoughts and feelings I wouldn’t have had the chance to take in otherwise.

Never once have I felt uncomfortable with the people I go to school with; never once have I complained about the people I encounter daily. Why do we keep searching for things to divide us? Why do we keep assuming there are so many walls between people different than us? If you feel there are walls, break them down. Go out. Talk to people. If anything, the walls we think are there are created by, guess who, us.

There is a whole lot of hate in this world, but we have the power to stop it, if only we just venture outside of our comfort zones and realize that beyond our beliefs, political views, background, we are all humans and this world is all of ours.

  • Michael Bowyer

    I couldn’t agree more. Dearborn is such a cultural mixing pot.I encounter people from different walks of life everyday. I meet someone from Nigeria in the morning, have lab with someone from China in the afternoon, and go home and live with my Lebanese roommate at night.

    The differences, are what I believe can help bring us together. By attempting to understand the cultural differences, you display compassion. Dearborn really allows for those differences to be discovered and facilitates discussions about them, but allows us to focus on our similarities.