Culture is defined by Webster as “the beliefs, customs, arts, etc., of a particular society, group, place, or time.” From a cultural standpoint, Orange City is a salad bowl with a lot of lettuce. This is not a bad thing; rather, it’s an interesting environment to host a college.
Even as a relatively homogenous campus, Northwestern is more diverse than the surrounding community.That diversity is not limited to the ethnic groups that exist within the grounds. Rather, it exists in thought processes and the accessibility of the world based on the events surrounding campus. Webster was right about beliefs and customs, but it goes much deeper here.
Culture can be as trivial as a clothing trend that shows up on campus or as intense as the different available worship styles. Culture is the movie theater full of college students on $2 Movie Night. It is the art show and theater production and multicultural fair. Culture is the dorm Twitter feed and cafeteria Instagram account. It’s all the ideas that surround campus, and it is the reactions to those ideas.
Arts and culture articles are varied, and occasionally miles apart. Some may think that colored skinny jeans are obsolete, and still others will not be able to care about the video game review or album from a country singer. But those elements of the culture are elements of NW, and they are what make students more connected as a whole.
The differences in cultural elements affect the 18-25 year olds in society because culture is all we know. Older generations didn’t need to know about what happened elsewhere on the planet because it didn’t affect them much. Now, the world spins because people are aware of what goes across the world.
The racially-triggered events on Harvard’s campus, along with the response to those events, infiltrated the student body at NW. The political train took a stop on campus as well, with some students attending with joy and others turning away with disgust. The culture here is dependent on the culture outside; perhaps the reverse is also true.
Look around. The clothes people wear, the books they read, the music they listen to and the technology they utilize make NW a cultural hub. Most campuses are similar, because college in itself is a culture. There will never again be a point in life where more than 1200 people are living in the same space, using the same facilities, eating the same meals and existing harmoniously. But what a culture it is.