Diversity at schools is essential to student’s development as leaders. As young men at Kiski, our students have the unique experience of living and studying with other students from all around the world. With 13 countries represented in our student population, Kiski works hard to cater to all cultures. One of the ways we foster diversity and leadership skills is through the Culture Pot Club.
The Culture Pot Club
The Culture Pot Club is a student group consisting of about 30 members. Carla Ross, ____, organizes events and activities for the group as well as hosts weekly discussions of current events. Originally, the club was established to help inner city kids acclimate to the 350 acres of rural campus and country environment. Now, the club is open to all students who share similar values when it comes to treating everyone with respect.
As Culture Pot members, students can participate in Round Table discussions over lunch, brunch, or dinner. Members are not only sure to enjoy a good meal, but they are also free to be themselves and have honest discussions on real-world events and issues.
“This is a club that embraces people who are different,” Ross said. “Many cultures use having a meeting over food as a way to break down walls.”
During these Round Table discussions students can start and lead the conversation. Because the students participate in so many different activities, they don’t always have time in their schedules to attend these meetings. So, the group helps promote diversity throughout the school by choosing a different culture every month to celebrate during Morning Meetings. They celebrate these cultures by learning their traditions and sharing the food of that culture.
In addition to these Round Table talks, the Culture Pot hosts different events. They have gone to see plays and participate in mystery dinner theaters. A guest group from Indiana University was invited to Kiski on behalf of the club to conduct a panel on gender and violence against women. The club also selects a movie to watch every month. Recently, they watched Cyberbully, which is about a teenager subjected to online bullying. All of these events are meant to facilitate discussion and teach the importance of acceptance and equality.
The Culture Pot is also an opportunity for students to develop leadership skills. Ross invites all of the Culture Pot members to take on leadership roles. With two co-presidents, two co-vice presidents, and a group of leaders, students have ample opportunity to take on leadership roles.
In fact, the club didn’t always have a vice president let alone two VPs. One student came forward and presented the idea because he wanted to be involved. The club had already elected two presidents, so Ross initially rejected the idea. The student persisted and demanded to be heard so now the club has two VPs as well as two presidents.
As Ross said, living and being a part of a team with students from around the world is an amazing experience for young men to have as they complete their high school education. And, the Culture Pot functions to bridge the gap between any cultural differences the students have.
“It has helped all the students no matter their background,” Ross said.