The Insider: Diverse roots plant seeds of truth

Striving for an understanding of the diversity in the community comprises one of the elements of the Statement of Community Values.By Jetty Hartsky

The principle from the Statement of Community Values that we seem to embrace the most is “that we recognize that we share not one Truth but respect our common pursuit for understanding.” On our campus we have a variety of students from many different backgrounds. We have clubs and organizations that are diverse in their participants and in their pursuits. We have many strong colleges that focus on important parts of human understanding and intellect: College of Liberal Arts, Education & Sciences; College of Business Administration; College of Continuing Studies; and Westminster College of the Arts.

I have learned the most in life from those who are different from me. Although it sounds like a politically correct statement to make, it has been proven true in my life. During my freshman year, I had a different roommate each semester. The conversations that I had with both of them were remarkable and useful in breaking the bubble of my own world view. It was like an investigative game that I loved to play. I would get to know my roommate and how she felt about every little thing. I’m sure I was annoying sometimes, but it was those conversations that made me excited about being in college.

Each of my roommates that year, each living with me for only a semester, were science majors. We would often get into conversations about hot scientific topics and the latest technological advances. And since I’m an English major, we would discuss literature, storytelling and writing. We often had disagreements about what matters the most in life. Regardless, we came to a better understanding of the subject and of one another. That is what college is all about — expanding your horizons.

Not only as individuals, but also as a community, we embrace the differences among us. Regardless of what organization or group you associate yourself with, you know that part of your purpose at Rider is academic. We share the same goal as those who have been studying at universities and other places of higher education for centuries. It is a quest to enhance the mind and struggle with the idea of Truth. At Rider, we seek truth as it applies to our daily lives and are open to revise it as necessary. We learn what we can and put it to use. We study hard, absorb the information from class, thrust ourselves into internships and jobs, and learn each step of the way. This open-mindedness is necessary to provoke new ideas. As a close-knit community, we are willing to support one another in our journey toward true knowledge, whether it applies socially, academically, culturally or spiritually.

As the philosopher Plato illustrates with the use of the Socratic method, pure learning cannot begin until you realize that you do not always have all the answers. With this attitude, we recognize, “that we share not one Truth but respect our common pursuit for understanding.”

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