Students wear blindfolds for diversity discussion

March 19, 2009

Approximately 100 students sported blindfolds for the 2nd Annual Blinded diversity discussion in Barfield Drawing Room. Conversation at the event centered on diversity topics ranging from race and ethnicity to sexuality.

BLINDEDSeven professors from different academic departments prompted conversations with blindfolded students about various opinions and policies related to each topic.

Student Government received an overwhelming amount of postive feedback from professors and students who said they would like to see open forums on diversity issues held more often. Students were so eager to share their thoughts that many did not want the evening to end.

The Blinded director, sophomore Alex Schmidt, said her inspiration for the event came off a Starbucks coffee cup.

"I looked down at my coffee a few weeks before the event and saw this quote, 'People need to see that, far from being an obstacle, the world's diversity of languages, religions, and traditions is a great treasure, affording us precious opportunities to recognize ourselves in others,' and I thought it worked so well with the theme of Blinded," Schmidt said.

BLINDEDSchmidt worked with External Vice President Nicole Yeakley to organize the event. Both Schmidt and Yeakley consider the event a huge success, as the attendance doubled from last year's and the event completed its goal: to get students engaged and talking about diverisity.

Student Body President Bryan Fonville, who helped plan last year's inaugural event, said Blinded has become one of his favorite Baylor experiences.

"Conversations seem much more candid once you put on that blindfold. It's really remarkable," said Fonville. "I think every student in attendance walked away with a differenct perspective. I know I did."