I have seen firsthand that although the Wall of Stereotypes has the best of intentions, it often reinforces stereotypes instead of breaking them down.
I have nothing against Student Senate or any of the people involved in the planning and execution of the wall. It is an interesting idea that attracts a lot of attention.
However, the only reactions I have seen from students are either laughter or disgust. They’re not laughing because they think the stereotypes are not true and therefore ridiculous, they laugh because now they have new ammunition to make fun of other people.
I think most students would agree that the wall reinforces stereotypes and sometimes even creates new ones. Was that the intention?
I understand that most of the squares on the wall that highlight a particular stereotype were written by people that fit the stereotype and were meant to show that they are not always true. Sadly, the first thought that comes to most students’ minds (including myself) is “How is that a stereotype? It’s true!”
I have also seen people, especially greek organizations, that were visibly hurt or offended by what they saw, even if a member of their own house made the square.
It reflects the organization in a bad light, and makes the whole campus aware of a stereotype that may not be true.
I suggest that next year, in lieu of a Wall of Stereotypes, any organization or student group should be able to make a square showcasing all the great things that they have accomplished.
I agree that stereotypes are hurtful and I applaud any effort to break them down. However, because of the nature of stereotypes, I feel like the wall only fueled the flames.
Sophomore English major