Social Dialogue raises questions for Otters on campus

The Otter Cross Cultural Center (OC3) at California State University, Monterey Bay (CSUMB) hosted the first Social Dialogues event of the semester on Sept. 15. In the OC3’s standard practice with each dialogue event, they ask students to leave their title “at the door,” enabling everyone to engage in an open and authentic conversation. The event was hosted by Ranu Sinha, Wendy Feng and Karla Garcia. 

Sinha, an alumnus and staff member at CSUMB, led the conversation starting off by asking how students are feeling now being back on campus, as well as asking what struggles they are going through. 

Students expressed various feelings, but all came to the same conclusion – it’s a little nerve-wracking being back on campus, with the Delta variant and positive cases popping up on campus. 

Fears that CSUMB may have been unprepared to open up campus were mutual among students; their concern being certain areas on campus students are seen clustered and not wearing masks indoors. Adding to feelings of discomfort, students are worried about large gatherings for events that are taking place in-person on campus. 

A hot topic of interest is the troubling activity on MyRaft, and the administration’s regulations. Discussions questioned why certain political posts, which target certain groups, were being taken down, as well as prohibiting students from engaging in online discussions.

Mention of the campus group “Turning Point USA (TPUSA)” was brought up during the event. TPUSA has been the center of attention amongst certain students, leaving students questioning why an alleged alt-right group was allowed to table along with other clubs at the Otter Showcase on Sept. 1.

Students shared concerns over legal names being displayed, versus the names some students have created. Students now ponder if that is safe for student’s security and well-being. 

The answer is not entirely clear; however, students brought up the fact that being able to change their name on the platform prevents someone from potentially reaching out to them in-person. 

As more questions and feedback arose in the conversation, Sinha tried to tie back the conversation to the questions proposed by the OC3, which aimed to understand how students are feeling and where they are coming from. 

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