Dakota Student

A celebration of diversity

Flags+from+various+countries+were+on+display+as+part+of+the+annual+Feast+of+Nations+at+the+Alerus+Center+on+February+11%2C+2018.
Flags from various countries were on display as part of the annual Feast of Nations at the Alerus Center on February 11, 2018.

Flags from various countries were on display as part of the annual Feast of Nations at the Alerus Center on February 11, 2018.

Kelly VanDrisse / Dakota Student

Kelly VanDrisse / Dakota Student

Flags from various countries were on display as part of the annual Feast of Nations at the Alerus Center on February 11, 2018.


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In the past, the Dakota Student released special edition issues of our newspaper as a way to highlight athletic achievement or occurrence: a hockey championship, the Potato Bowl, etc. The issues served as reminder that despite our frigid surroundings, there exists at least one reason to persist. This special edition is not an escape, and it does not discuss athletic achievement. Instead, this issue seeks to examine a troubling trend slowly creeping across campus.

There are groups of marginalized students who are continually and systematically defunded, underserved and displaced because they have the misfortune of falling outside the perspective of the status quo. These students identify in many ways: immigrants, refugees, women and victims of sexual assault. They have different nationalities, religions and beliefs. They speak different languages, love regardless of gender or sexuality and vary in skin color. Simply stated, these students are diverse. And rather than celebrate their diversity, some at the University of North Dakota have neglected these students: combining and consolidating them into smaller and harder-to-find locations on campus. Support groups for these students have been relegated to the farthest corners of the university, where the underfunded entities have lost directors, staff and administrative support. This marginalization does not go unnoticed, especially to us at the Dakota Student. This special edition will do what many UND administrators and others in power have failed to do: highlight the resilience of students who, for one reason or another, feel underappreciated, neglected and forgotten here in Grand Forks, North Dakota: an area President Mark Kennedy once ironically referred to as, “The Great White North.”

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A celebration of diversity