Anyone who missed UA Mall activities last week, namely the events sponsored in accordance with Native American Awareness Week, missed a great deal. The onset of the week started off with a traditional Native American ceremony on Tuesday morning at dawn. Events continued daily for the rest of the week. Friday night brought a Pow Wow that ended the week's activities.
I never heard how the Pow Wow went. In fact, the week never felt the same after Thursday. Thursday was the day that Prince Michael of Kent paid a visit to our university. (UA President Manuel) Pacheco was there to see the Prince, along with Mariachis and the flag team. Collectively, there were a half-dozen photographers/newspeople there to glimpse Prince Michael of Kent as he made a 15 minute appearance.
Is it strange that we never thought to introduce Prince Michael to the university by having him attend Native American Awareness Week? Or how about treating the Prince to a piece of fry-bread? Instead, at noon time, Prince Michael had his own special reception which he was probably used to: traditional English costumes and dancing and British food and music. The only component of Arizona culture to which he was introduced was the Mariachi band.
After more than 200 years of American independent history, it appears we still prefer to fawn over British royalty and celebrate the Prince's visit in an isolated special ceremony, rather introduce him to our whole university community, specifically Native American Awareness Week.
It is upsetting to hear that UA supports multi-culturalism and diversity yet doesn't eliminate the hierarchial measure of culture. Prince Michael of Kent came to look "at the UA's research efforts as models for England." The fact that he is a professional investor is a great stimulus to the university. The Prince should have been treated as an ordinary visitor, introduced to our university culture, not fawned over in a special ceremony. Money, however, makes its own policy at this institution. Culture is based on money here.
The culture we experience has its roots first with investors and alumni and secondarily with the students who compose the university. This is a shame.
Interdisciplinary Studies Junior
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