Not so diverse

NIU is so big on “diversity” this semester. They had speech and essay competitions on the issue, and they even had a “discriminatory hotline.” It really makes the university seem unified right? Give me a break!

I’m an 18-year-old Mexican-American. (No, not Hispanic, Latina.) Not once in my life was I a victim of discrimination, until I came to NIU that is.

It wasn’t by other students as one might think, no it was by NIU’s very own English department. Yes, the same one that is SO big on diversity.

I’m taking English 103. I found out the first day of class (Aug. 24) through TRACS that my English class had been changed. I went to the English department which was “so sorry, I should have received the letter that was sent out.” What a crock!

It turned out that the entire class is Latinos. It took two weeks for the class to assemble because, like me, no one was told about the change. (No one received a letter either.) Our teacher gave us some story about us being bilingual and how we were going to work on grammar. We weren’t tested in any way to be placed in that class. In fact, I know that at least one student isn’t even bilingual. We all checked ‘Hispanic’ on our applications so the English department assumed we were bilingual. I informed my teacher the first day that I do not need a grammar class. He changed the book and syllabus (The English department should be grateful because they would have had a hell of a time dealing with me if he hadn’t.)

The English department probably figured they could “put some Hispanics together and evaluate.” Well, that better not be the case because I’m not a guinea pig. I’m LATINA and proud of it. I graduated from high school as salutatorian. I deserve to be here, NIU didn’t do me any favors by accepting me. I don’t deserve to be segregated because of my nationality or because of the language I speak! If what NIU’s English department did isn’t segregation, then what is?

Maria Elina Ovalle

Special Ed.