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Leadership is one of the requirements that every student who leaves a college should have. Every individual needs to be responsible for any job that he or she takes and must work without supervision. For this to happen, every person in an organization must be a leader. Any individual from any society can be a leader and can lead individuals from any society. Diversity in colleges is quite common these days and individuals view diversity in different perspectives. Some students have some perceptions that other students from some societies are inferior and therefore should be backbenchers in the activities carried out in the college. Claremont McKenna College (CMC) admits students from different societies and cultures and creates the best environment for every student to learn and maximize the opportunity that is provided. This paper will seek to discuss Mr. John who has helped shape the culture and thought in CMC.
Diversity in CMC
CMC admits international students and offers different courses to these students. The college began in 1946 when some individuals felt that there people from different societies have different leadership skills and felt that there are those societies that are best suited to lead in an organization. Very few non-white students could be admitted in the college and those who were admitted could not be given positions in the student’s clubs. Mr. John who is a lecturer in the business department made great achievements in changing the culture and thinking of both students and members of administration in the college. Mr. John is an African American who also manages his own company that manufactures bathing soap. According to him, diversity is an important aspect in any organization and organizations should use diversity to achieve greater heights that cannot be achieved in absence of diversity.
Changing Culture and Thought
The lecturer had found that students in the school lived in certain groups according to cultural origin and relationships across cultures were not there. The lecturer had also found that most of the clubs in the college were led by one society and the performance of students from some societies was generally poor. In his investigations, he found that the perceptions of students about other students from some cultural backgrounds were deceiving. This had led to the discrimination in elections and even in marking by some lecturers. He forwarded the issue to the administration which conducted a research and found that there were some elements of discrimination both by students and lecturers in the college. He argued that with the correct and competent leadership skills, any student from any background can lead an association and help it achieve great success.
Steps Taken to Change the Culture
As a result of the claims that were found to be true, the administration in the college appointed a committee of five individuals led by Mr. John that was to look into the matter. The committee was to discuss ways that could be used to give equal chances to all the students in the college. The committee agreed that leadership was a necessity to all students not only in the college and even when they leave the college. A student taking any course in the college was therefore to undertake some leadership units in the first two years in the college. Admission of students in the college was also to be on the basis on performance and not on the basis of societal backgrounds. This ensured that students from different backgrounds had equal opportunities to join the college. The result of this was the admission of students from different states and different countries into the college. The college also gained popularity to the extent that today it offers distance learning courses.
The committee devised a policy that was to be used to ensure that students treated each other in a human manner. The policy began by defining some weird behaviors such as limited opportunities for certain students, violence, lack of students from certain groups in associations in the college, etc. The written policy also had steps that will be taken against those lecturers and students who lower the dignity of other lecturers and students in the college. The policy defined discrimination of some students from certain backgrounds as an inappropriate behavior that couldn’t be tolerated in the college. A step was taken where experts would frequently train both students and lecturers on how to increase relationship skills across cultures and how to use diversity for the benefit of the college. The administration took the challenge and the result of this was a college full of students from different cultural backgrounds. Relationships between individuals from different cultural backgrounds were also improved and leadership positions in the clubs were taken by students from any cultural background.
The fact that Mr. John is the manager of a very successful business was an indication that an individual from any cultural background can lead as long as he or she has the necessary leadership skills. His company also employed individuals from different backgrounds and he argued that this contributed much to the success of the company.
Many colleges admit students from different cultural backgrounds and the perceptions of the students about students from different cultural backgrounds affect the lives of many students in such a college. Mr. John helped CMC in shaping the culture that existed in the college. This was achieved by training students on how to relate with other students from different cultural backgrounds. A policy that drafted and enforced on individuals in the college who acted to lower the dignity of other individuals in the college.