By: Amy Wise
It’s all about college tours at the Wise house right now. We just returned from San Francisco State University, which is Tatiana’s first choice for college. She chose SFSU for many reasons, the first being their dance program which is her major, the second because she loves the city, and the third because of the culture and diversity that SFSU offers.
Prior to going to San Fran we visited a couple of other campuses. One of the recent campus tours we went on was a total bust, and originally it was her second choice! From the very first moment we drove into the parking lot Tatiana said, “I’m not feeling this campus at all.” The entire day went that way. It was just a vibe that she had, or actually lack thereof. Then we went to SFSU and her reaction was the polar opposite! Tatiana stepped onto campus and instantaneously smiled from ear to ear. She was home. Jamie even said, “I can totally see you going to school and living here. This is you.” At this point we had only been there for, oh, about five minutes! It was like the campus had a heartbeat of its own. It was full of life, color, music, laughter, beautiful architecture, people from all over and so much more! Jamie and I were ready to go back in time and attend school with her. She would be horrified and would quickly veto us, but it sure sounded like a good idea, at least to us!
One of the things that is not only important to Tatiana but important to us as parents of a mixed race child, is that she goes to a university that is filled with diversity. To say that SFSU is diverse would be an understatement. It lives and breathes diversity! The students that attend SFSU are from every race and religion you can imagine. We got a very clear picture of that when we walked to the heart of the campus which is called Malcom X Plaza. The plaza is filled with music and festivities and also houses the Cesar Chavez Student Center. The more we walked and the more we saw, the more we fell in love with the campus and all it had to offer. Notice I keep saying we. We truly fell in love with SFSU right along with her and for her. It is such an exciting time in her life! The diversity clincher was when we were on the tour and the guide told us about the College of Ethnic Studies. This is the only program of its kind in the nation and SFSU offers it. Hello diversity!
Needless to say by the time we were done with the tour and our day spent on campus, Tatiana was ready to move in. Instead she did the next best thing. She applied. The applications for Fall 2012 opened up the following day, so she jumped online, filled out the application, went over it with a fine tooth comb and hit submit! While she was filling out her info, I had a smile from ear to ear, not only because I was so excited for her, but also because I saw that she was able to choose two or more races/ethnicities as her race on the application. I was thrilled! Back in the day when Tat was entering kindergarten I had to choose one race and one race only. I will never forget how that made me feel. Now, not only was there an option for two or more races, the options for the gender section are male, female, transgender, or non-gender specific. How frickin’ cool is that!? I had never seen that on any application before…it tripped me out at first. My how times have changed. I love it! Equality all the way around.
That, my friends, is progress.
Just as it should be.