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Mosaic of ESU retreat explores diversity

Mosaic of ESU retreat explores diversity

Nicholas Sumner

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For the fourth year in a row, Emporia State will offer its free annual Mosaic of ESU retreat to students Feb. 21-22 at Camp Wood YMCA.

Tayler Wash, senior elementary education major, has attended the retreat before, and said the retreat uses group activities and games to help participants get to know each other and learn about how diversity affects their world.

“This program is not about having lectures and having a person stand up in front of a group,” said Jason Bosch, senior director of the Center for Student Involvement.

Typically, 50-60 people participate each year. Jason Brooks, director of multicultural affairs, coordinates the event and is the primary facilitator. He also selects five to six faculty members from ESU to help lead the small groups.

Bosch said the retreat teaches students about accepting others, “rather than looking at those differences as a way to divide us, to look at them as an opportunity to come together and find where we have commonalties and not just differences.”

On Friday, Feb. 21, a bus will leave in the afternoon to take students who have signed up to Camp Wood, a YMCA camp 30 miles west of Emporia and will then take students back to campus the next day.

Bosch said the retreat is called “mosaic” because of the many different elements that make up a mosaic image.

“A mosaic is usually a picture or an image that’s made up of a bunch of different elements or tiles or pieces so it fits… the idea of the diversity in people that are different and come from a lot of different backgrounds and experiences that all contribute something to the world,” Bosch said.

Wash said she enjoyed the experience in the past and wished it could have been longer.

“It made me more aware of how much more open-minded I needed to be,” Wash said. “It made me want to come back to campus and be more open-minded to different people from different cultures.”

To sign up for the retreat, register online at emporia.edu/oma before Tuesday, Feb. 11.

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