Arkansas Tech University has more than one hundred registered student organizations for students to get involved during their collegiate experience.
As a student whom is African American and openly homosexual, there have been moments when other students assume that I am a member of the African-American Student Association, the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity which is an AfricanAmerican Greek organization, and a member of SPECTRUM which is an organization that supports the LGBT community.
When I am on campus wearing the letters of my fraternity, Alpha Tau Omega (ATΩ), non-Greeks assume that I am a member of Alpha Phi Alpha or that all of my brothers are of the African-American race. People are Greek, primarily people whom are black that know that my fraternity is not an African American fraternity, assume that my fraternity is an academic fraternity and not a social fraternity.
Why do I have to automatically be involved in these organizations just because I fit the standard?
Why does my race have to be reflected in my campus involvement?
Honestly, I find this judgment quite disturbing.
Because we have organizations that support different backgrounds, many believe that people in my position should be grateful to have them and join because these organizations have not always been around.
Although I agree that having these different organizations gives people like me a safe place to be themselves, I do not believe I have to be involved in them just because I meet the qualifications of being a member.
I am involved in many different organizations on campus, one of them being an organization that does not have many members that are the same race as me because I have the same beliefs as they do. I feel that’s what makes each organization unique.
Today there are several organizations that are built on values of one or more cultures that accept members of another background.
Can I also be accepted as a member of an organization that is different from my culture?