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Be Open. Be Orange.

Posted April 1st, 2014 by Stephanie Jenkins

Submitted by Terra Setzler

Recently there was a racially hateful comment left on a bathroom stall in Milam. When I saw the post on things overheard at OSU I responded saying, “To me this person is not a Beaver. You cannot be powered by orange when you are fueled by hate. This is not acceptable.” Then in my ethics class we were asked to talk about a ‘be orange’ moment we had and to define what it means to ‘be orange.’ Let me take a moment to do that now.

Being Orange means being caring and inclusive to all. Through my almost three years of college I’ve learned a lot about how social, economic and political systems favor some people over others. OSU students take bacc core classes to gain a greater understanding of the world around them. Being Orange means as some signs in the library put it, “the nation is an inclusive community” or “the nation enhances well-being and social progress.” Being Orange and being part of Beaver Nation means being a part of the force that changes these inequalities.

So if being Orange means being accepting and understanding, what does that look like? First, be orange, be open. Be open to the experiences of others and the truths of their lives. Each person has had their own life experience and its important to be open to hearing it and even if it differs from yours, try to accept it without marginalizing or belittling. Second, be orange, be caring. I like many others cannot manage to be politically correct 100% of the time. Be emotionally correct. Try to respect other’s experiences and when you do offend someone, take the time to understand why and to adjust your mindset and actions moving forward.

There are so many obstacles for many people to overcome (gender, race and economic position having a lot to do with it), be a factor that helps fix these inequalities. If you haven’t yet learned how your actions can hurt those around you, check out the ‘I too am OSU’ page on Facebook or walk in to a cultural center. Ignorance of a problem does not make it go away.

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One Response to “Be Open. Be Orange.”

  1. bulloccl Says:

    I am glad to hear that OSU was able to broaden your cultural boundaries. I was extremely taken back by the recent events. This is definitely not what it means to “Be Orange”.

    Do not worry about being correct all of the time. We are all going to make mistakes and it is better to get the racial biases conversation going (which I think is extremely important to get started and currently lacking from current discourse). If we are all scared about making mistakes, we will never be able to start the conversation.

    I think that if people can be emotionally invested in making the world a better place, then that emotion will shine through and the political jargin will be left behind in efforts to make the world better.

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