UA administrator calls for an end to bias
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Vice President for Campus Life Saundra Taylor speaks at Gallagher Theatre yesterday about "What Differences Really Make a Difference." Taylor said people should not use stereotypes or prejudices to influence actions with others.
The University of Arizona community faces a challenge to put aside small differences and move toward acceptance, the vice president for campus life said yesterday.
"There are very few differences that are significant differences," VP for Campus Life Saundra Taylor told a crowd of about 35 in the Gallagher Theatre.
When society uses ethnicity or gender to categorize people, the effects can be harmful, Taylor said. Forums should be established for students and faculty members to communicate about problems related to skin color, gender and age, she added.
"We have to build a dialogue before we can build a community," she said. "There are many opportunities to build that sense of community by respecting the differences we know exist."
Taylor talked about growing up in a segregated housing project in Louisville, Ky. in the 1950's to illustrate the need for diversity acceptance.
"All my teachers were black but they internalized society's messages about race," she said.
Taylor said she was the only black female student when she attended DePauw University in the early 1960's in Indiana.
"It was a culture shock," said Taylor, who earned a bachelor of arts in psychology in 1963. "The expectations my faculty had of me was very different than the other students."
Taylor went on to receive a master of arts in clinical psychology from Bowling Green State University in 1965 and a Ph.D. in clinical psychology from Ohio University in 1969.
She added that her college professors were uninterested in what she had to say, compared with her male colleagues.
"Classrooms, even in our universities (across the nation), tend not to be responsive to our women students," Taylor said.
Assistant Dean of the University College Lynne Tronsdal said Taylor "pointed out that differences are just different, but not to use them for prejudice or stereotypes."