Be Known

I’m in my third week of my senior year of college, and I’ve realized in my time a few things about George Fox – that, namely, it possess a systemically supported culture that appeals to a very specific type of person.

And I am not that kind of person.

Who am I, then? I’m a bit of a nerd. I’m Christian, though of a variety old-fashioned and reserved. I’m an introvert. I like indie music, and especially folk music. I like board games, I like video games, I don’t enjoy sports in any capacity, and I like books, though not as much as I sometimes wish I did. I’m unenthusiastic about things as a rule.

That’s who I am, more or less, but it’s not who I sometimes feel George Fox is for. When I think of the “standard” George Fox student, who all the events and speakers videos are aimed at, I think of someone very different.

This person is fairly sporty, but not too sporty. They play something coolly unusual, like lacrosse or tennis or spike ball. They go rock climbing. They hike, and post about it on Instagram. They lift their arms in church. They like dances. They seem to like everything, actually, although they’re not too nice, of course. They have one, maybe two tattoos. They like indie music (my only similarity). They’re white.

If this description sounds familiar, please believe I’m not complaining about you. I’m actually pretty good friends with a few people who fit this description. There’s a reason, I think, George Fox has oriented itself towards this type of person – they tend to be likable. My only problem is the fact that I feel like the culture, and as an extension, things like ASC activities, are aimed at people such as these – those who are outgoing, religious, attractive, trendy. There’s little room for anyone else.

And I’m saying all this as a white, straight, Christian male. I actually cannot imagine what it must be like to attend George Fox as a minority student. In fact, I would appreciate it if people let me know in the comments.

Am I stereotyping? Of course. At its heart, this is nothing much more than an unfair rant. It’s not really George Fox’s fault that I’m an introvert or that I don’t like going to dances.

And yet, I can’t believe that I’m the only one who feels left out.

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2 thoughts on “Be Known

  1. You make some great points, John. Since it would be pretty much impossible for a smallish private school like Fox to cater fully to all types of people, ASC (and whoever else is in charge) has to aim their attention at pleasing the majority—which just so happens to be white, straight, outdoorsy, Christian extroverts. Because this is the demographic Fox aims to please, this is the demographic that keeps enrolling at Fox, thus perpetuating the cycle of dances, sporting events, enthusiastic worship sessions, etc. That’s not to say there aren’t any events or clubs and such that appeal to introverts and other minorities: they’re just not as visible. So, people who aren’t the typical Fox student have to either dig a little deeper to find groups they can connect with… or find a different school. And there’s nothing wrong with that. Every college is different. Every college appeals to different people. Every student should feel free to seek out the place where they can learn best and feel at home—whether that place is Fox or elsewhere.

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  2. I appreciate that you have voiced this. We definitely live in a world geared towards extroverts, and as a fellow introvert I can definitely sympathize with you on that. It’s interesting that on the night of the 80s dance, four of the members of our class wrote about introversion, or fitting in. Lately I’ve been wondering how many writers are introverts? If I had to guess, I would wager that the majority of our class is.

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