People often speak of a disconnect between the students at Emory College and Oxford College. It is our impression, at the Wheel, that for many, there exists a stigma on Emory’s main campus against Oxford continuees. But this stigma is not necessarily one-directional. We feel there is also an existing Emory College stereotype perpetuated by some Oxford students. The perpetuation of these stereotypes on both sides may be preventing the two Colleges from learning and growing from each other. Both campuses have much to offer. We at the Wheel would like to address this issue and suggest a few ways to impede these stereotypes.
It is our understanding that some Emory students use derogatory names (like “Oxtard”) to describe Oxford students, while some Oxford students are critical of Emory’s lacking community and sense of entitlement. Emory students often complain that Oxford students keep to themselves; Oxford students complain that Emory students aren’t welcoming. And the assumptions go on.
Of course, the desire to stay attached to a long-standing group of friends is natural – but cliques are not inevitable. If we want to build a community that bridges the two Emory experiences, we must make a more concerted effort to see past convenient stereotypes and get to know one another. This is a process that goes both ways. Many students become heavily involved at Oxford and find it difficult to find equivalent organizations or clubs on main campus.
We at the Wheel feel frustrated that some Emory College and Oxford College students have not found a better way to get to know each other and alleviate existing stereotypes.
Although we know that this may not apply to all Emory and Oxford students, we feel that these are stereotypes are prevalent enough to merit attention.
One potential avenue to reconcile this is issue is through student organization outreach. We propose that Emory College student organizations send members to Oxford’s campus in the spring of each year to recruit Oxford students. This way, Oxford students will have a better idea of the opportunities on main campus and are provided with contacts to reach out to junior year. We also encourage Oxford continuees to give Emory students a chance and to get involved on main campus their junior year.
In addition to student initiatives on this matter, we encourage the administration to brainstorm effective ways to bring our two Colleges together and eradicate existing stigma.
We at the Wheel feel it is essential to raise awareness on the issue, to call it what it is and work to change it. Name-calling and ostracizing is not acceptable on either side; no culture is more valuable than another, and it’s absurd that some students on both sides believe this. We recommend that both Emory and Oxford students stop “claiming” their territory and get to know each other. We encourage SGA President and College senior Raj Patel to follow through with his campaign to further meld the two schools, as he had many ideas on the issue. We must transcend the physical distance between the two schools. After all, we are Emory University, one large entity filled with acceptance and diversity.
The above staff editorial represents the majority opinion of the Wheel‘s editorial board.