Stepping Outside Your Box

One thing I have noticed is that Acadia can be very segregated and cliquey. I also noticed, we tend to either define ourselves within a group or outside of it. Each group comes with its own complexities and dynamics. This promotes me to wonder, when people are assigned to broad group names (black students, domestic students), do people still consider the communities within those communities and then the individual within those micro-communities?

During an interview with Humans of Acadia, I mentioned that I’m still trying to understand my African shade of black within this spectrum of black the exists here at Acadia, an alumnus emailed me regarding those comments, and I found the email interesting:

I found your comments on race very interesting.

I grew up in a town where little was made of race so my discoveries of the feelings of students from different areas was shocking. People were judged on their character regardless of race. Religion was a very divisive matter. As a rule, Roman Catholics and protestants did not associate with each other. There were separate schools based on religion. There were 6 of us guys from each school who would meet at a local restaurant after taking our dates home from separate school dances. The 12 of us would sit together and eat a meal together – usually hot chicken sandwiches and French fries.

There was always a difference between home town loyalties and Cape Bretoners and Mainland Nova Scotians.  Interestingly enough most Cape Bretoners went to St. FX so my attending Acadia was a bit unusual. Most protestants attended Acadia, Dal and Mount Allison. A few went to UNB.

As I walked along Main street in Wolfville, one of my friends of African dissent suddenly suggested we cross over to the other side.

Once on the other side of the street I asked my friend what that was all about.

He explained that the two students of African dissent that were approaching us were from the Caribbean and they did not get along.

Later back home, I was speaking with a student of a Caribbean/African dissent nurse in my wife’s class asking if she knew an acquaintance of mine at Acadia. He came from a very prominent family. Once I said his family was from Halifax the conversation was over.

What I find great about Lions is race and religion make no difference. We come from all over the world and do not look at or discuss political, religious or race as we work towards our common goal of humanitarian service.

-John Macfie

Class of ’67.’68

I’m curious, have these inter-group dynamics changed? I would love to hear about it.

Ruvimbo Chipazi is a third year Psychology student and Arts & Culture Editor of The Athenaeum

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