Clock Towers Promote Diversity on College Campuses

Promoting diversity is not only important at Frostburg State University, it is an important factor of colleges across the country. Promoting diversity is beneficial for students and for the college itself. Diversity on campuses can help students in more ways than one, and it can be expressed using something as simple as a clock tower on campus.

Diversity on campus enhances social development by expanding students’ social circles by allowing them to be able to communicate with more people, learn new things, and to develop new relationships. Students will be better prepared for careers by graduating from schools with diverse students, because the workplace is more diverse than ever before. Employers also look for people who have the ability to relate to people from different cultural backgrounds. Being able to learn about people’s backgrounds and experiences enhances self-knowledge and self-awareness. Self-awareness results in being able to make better decisions about your academic and professional future.

At Centralia College in Washington, the community and the college promote diversity through the Centralia College Clock Tower Diversity Project. The Clock Tower is located at the center of the campus, and it is the figurative heart of the community. The Clock Tower Project was established in 1997, and it honors individuals and groups from the Northwestern United States who have made notable impacts and significant contributions to the history, community, or culture of the Northwest. The project was created by the Cultural Infusion Project and it is supported by the Diverse Committee and Associated Students of Centralia College. Each person engraved on the tower represents dedication, faith, courage, and uniqueness.  Some of the current honorees engraved on the tower include Merce Cunningham, Jimi Hendrix, and Elmer Smith. The Clock Tower Diversity Project at Centralia gives students inspiration and the knowledge of people who have made a big impact on society, while also coming from diverse backgrounds.

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Here at FSU, diversity was expressed through the Diversity Button Project with the clock tower being used as one of the main components of the project. Students in the graphic design classes of Professor Susan E. Dodge worked for about two weeks to create images to put inside of the buttons. Students were to choose a face relating to the country of their choice. They then added clipart to the image that related to the country. On top of the face and the clipart, students created a white clock tower which is located in the center of the button. To the sides of the white clock tower are white mountains, which symbolize the mountains in Frostburg. Written on each button is the country in which the face on the button is representing, a dash, “Frostburg You Are Here”, and “The faces of our planet at FSU.”

The purpose of the project is to promote diversity in a fun and creative way, and to get the students and staff to participate by taking a button. Tables were set up in the Lane Center on Wednesday, Nov. 30 and Thursday, Dec. 1 from 11:15 a.m. to 3 p.m. for the button-making/giveaway event. There are also “Take Me, I’m Yours!” papers with buttons pinned on them posted throughout campus for anyone to take one. The first person seen wearing a button by Professor Jackie Brown received a prize. The second person seen with a button by Interim Provost Dr. Ahmad Tootoonchi also received a prize, and the third person seen wearing a button by Professor Steve Matthews received a prize as well. The project was brought to FSU by the President’s Council on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion and Graphic Design 207.

By using a structure on-campus that students see daily, students will now be reminded every time they see the clock tower of the diversity at FSU.

The buttons used in the featured image are the artwork of students from left to right: Dorian Hines, Kayla Babb, Nicholas Mann, Jacob Turskey, Rose Gause, and Kevin Aina.

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