48 years ago Comments Off on Tolerance

Discriminating against others because of race, weight, age or political affiliations has existed many years all over the world and is likely to continue, university officials said.

SHSU is no exception.

However, with students interacting with different kinds of people, they are taking a great step in overcoming this obstacle, Alessandro-Bonanno, chair of the sociology department, said.

He said reasons such as economic, political, social and psychological that students use to discriminate against others are not much different from society.

“People feel threatened by the existence of other groups,” Bananno said. “They feel their lifestyles will be damaged, so they respond.”

He said the majority of the time the reason a person is discriminated against does not reflect what is really going on in society.

“It’s a response to other stimuli,” Bannano said. “They are just threatened by the presence of the other group.”

He said discrimination has been a problem in this society for so long that it will be very difficult to eradicate. However, there is a solution.

“The weapon is tolerance,” Bannano said. “People need to exercise tolerance.”

He also said in order for people to have tolerance, they need to have dialogue, which is getting to know others.

“We respond to stereotypes rather than getting to know them,” he said.

Bannano said the consequences of discrimination have divided society resulting in instability.

“There is conflict, tension and problems,” he said. “There is also a sense of injustice because people are not evaluated for what they are.”

Deanna Marek, at psychological service on campus, said she thinks people discriminate against others because they are closed-minded.

“They don’t see everyone as being equal,” she said.

Marek also said when people are discriminated against, it takes a toll on them psychologically.

“They can withdraw from society,” she said.

Bernice Strauss, director of the Counseling Center, agreed.

“It is found to impact their self-esteem and how they see themselves in the world,” she said.

Strauss said the extent of the impact depends on the individual.

Marek said those who are discriminated against are likely to discriminate against others because of the way they were treated.

“But not always,” she said.

Strauss said the actions someone should take when being discriminated against on campus depends on whom the discriminator was.

If a student has been discriminated against by faculty or staff, the student should contact their supervisor. Someone who has been discriminated by another student should contact the dean of Student Life.

“Or they can come here and talk to a counselor,” Strauss said. “They are bound by confidentiality.”

Strauss said students regularly come to the center because they feel they have been discriminated against. Some come in because they are concerned about being the only minority in class.

Although discrimination will most likely be a part of this society for years to come, Strauss said SHSU has shown to inhibit a great amount of diversity.

“Students here insist on that,” she said.