A photo from the Toul Sleng Genocide Museum in prison 21, a former school converted to prison and torture center during the Khmer Rouge. The Khmer Rouge is a time period of genocide and ethnic cleansing in Canbodia, and the wound are still healing today.

“A diverse body of students that through mutual understanding become empathetic and effective leaders.”

While diversity is now a buzzword frequently thrown around, usually about colleges and in a derogatory manner, it does have merit. Ignoring the quotas, affirmative actions, and other negative aspects of diversity used in real life, a diverse body of people is very beneficial, as a plethora of articles and blogs highlight the advantages of a diverse workforce. Fostering empathy and understanding is one of, possibly the greatest benefit of a diverse body of people, as truthful impressions lead to fair judgements that improve equality and happiness overall. This is increasingly important in our world as globalization continues to connect different peoples, and despite of a few hiccups in recent developments, people have been more understanding of each other in general. It is important to continue this trend to eliminate xenophobia and facilitate healthy global communities.

Last summer, I experienced the great benefits of diversity in a globally oriented summer program, and I learned a lot about how people from all over the world thinks. Talking with intelligent and interested people from the other side of the world enlightened me and enabled more openness in my thinking. Even my 5 roommates and I got along incredibly well, exchanging views and discussing topics every single night, even though we are incredibly different. This learning process also occurred to my peers, and it is possible that others can become more open through diversity as well. Having a more welcoming group of leaders mean that the world can be a better place in the future.