Letter from Andrew Rolle to Vince Peterson in President John B. Slaughter's Files dated December 31, 1990

oxy president's office files.jpg

Title

Letter from Andrew Rolle to Vince Peterson in President John B. Slaughter's Files dated December 31, 1990

Description

This letter is from a recent graduate who calls multiculturalism "overdone" and doesn't believe it will be a good "selling point" for the college. He fails to see diversity as an issue at all, and insists that he doesn't understand why Oxy jumped onto the "multicultural bandwagon." In addition, he cites the part of the report by the Ad Hoc Committee on Minority Issues that says 40% of the student body is made up of minority students, which he sees as a huge success. He talks about his experience of Oxy and how he was friends with many minority students and even had some minority teachers. He argues that "multiculturalism" emphasizes differences and places people in groups based on skin color or ethnic origin, which he believes is wrong. He says if Oxy wants to pursue multiculturalism, they should just require a first-year course in non-western cultures. He continues, "we must not forget the fact that our western culture is far richer and worth far more of our time studying than non-western culture."

Creator

Rolle, Andrew

Source

John Brooks Slaughter, President's Files

Publisher

[Unpublished]

Date

1990-12-31

Date Created

2015-11-03

Contributor

Tatz, Erin

Rights

Rights resides with Occidental College Library. For permission to reproduce or publish, please contact Special Collections.

Bibliographic Citation

Rolle, Andrew. Letter dated 12/31/1990. Folder “Strategic Planning General 1989-90.” John Brooks Slaughter President’s Papers. Special Collections and College Archives, Occidental College Library, Los Angeles, Ca.

Mediator

CTSJ 320 Culture and Community

Rights Holder

Occidental College

Original Format

Letter

Analysis/Reflection

The correspondence is extremely telling, in that it shines a light on the outright denial of the importance of diversity and multiculturalism on Oxy's campus that emerged on campus during the 1980's. The recent graduate espouses a certain idea of mutliculturalism as divisive and essentializing. Being that the term "multiculturalism" can be conceived of in different ways, and certainly has been over time, this source is useful in depicting one way it was perceived by at least one recent Oxy graduate in 1990.

Citation

Rolle, Andrew, “Letter from Andrew Rolle to Vince Peterson in President John B. Slaughter's Files dated December 31, 1990,” History of Equity and Diversity at Occidental, accessed December 2, 2021, https://oxyequitydiversity2014.omeka.net/items/show/260.