“A Collective Narrative of Diversity”

Customs week was a heavy experience to say the least. It was the first time that I came back to Haverford’s campus following summer break, which for usually involves a lot of family time, reading and thinking. Coming back after a long break and being hit with so many familiar faces at once was somewhat overwhelming. Being around freshmen also gave the campus a new vibe, shifting dynamics  around like clockwork. I felt my place at Haverford had changed, with new responsibilities and priorities because I knew that I would have a strong impact on my customs group during the upcoming school year, as both a PAF and a model of a Haverford student.

I felt this responsibility even more so through the training that PAF’s and customs folk received concerning diversity and religion. I believe that my cultural background is unique to the college, as a Muslim American who grew up in a ridiculously diverse area of Brooklyn and who’s parents are both from Pakistan. During a PAF training on diversity, I remember talking about my experiences in public school, which immersed me in a mix of Eastern European, Latino, East Asian and South Asian students. I think that because of my upbringing, the perspective that I have to add is meaningful and influential to the conversations that I will have with both my customs group and the Haverford community as a whole. I think that after this intense week of attending programs and meeting faculty for training on the topic of multiculturalism, I’ve learned that I have a responsibility to voice my perspective towards a collective narrative of diversity.

Taha Ahsin, ’14 – Peer Awareness Facilitator (PAF)

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About Theresa Tensuan

Theresa Tensuan is an Associate Dean at Haverford College and the Director of the Office of Multicultural Affairs. She teaches in the Writing Program, is an avid reader of comics and the Chronicle of Higher Education, and runs long distances at very slow speeds.