By Brittney Corum and Ashley Shuler
Sophomore Matthew Allee rolled his eyes when he said students’ biggest complaints about campus are parking and food.
“Those are problems that can be solved,” he said. “There are harder questions to ask, like, ‘Why does Franklin College not attract as much diversity as they want to?’”
That’s where the B.O.L.D. house comes in.
The B.O.L.D. (Building Our Leaders Through Diversity) house came into existence last year.
“I’ve thought that this campus needed a campus house [since my freshman year] so that students who want to promote diversity … could have a safe space to do it,” senior and house member Jasmine Otam said.
The purpose of the house is to put students in a common environment to address the harder questions, like campus diversity and cultural awareness.
The house aims to include people of all races, cultures and sexualities.
“This is just our way to reach out to people and say, ‘let’s all come together as one,’” said Mia Williams, junior and house leader.
In order to live in the house, students must be active members in Black Student Union (BSU), Student Association in Support of Multiculturalism (SASOM), Franklin College Latino Advocacy and Awareness Association (FCLA3) or the Franklin College Pride Alliance (FCPA).
Four students currently live there.
“I wanted to live in the B.O.L.D. house because I feel like it’s very important to spread diversity, especially since our school is majority white,” Williams said. “It’s such a small setting, that we don’t have a large group of diverse people.”
The house hosts multiple events throughout the year, including a meet and greet and house tour last week.
B.O.L.D. house members are planning to host an event near Halloween to educate the campus on cultural awareness and inappropriate costumes.
“You never know what people will dress up as,” Williams said.
The house members share one common belief: students need to talk about uncomfortable subjects.
“Franklin sits in its own little bubble,” Otam said. “Even Greenwood and Indianapolis expose you to different types of people. … We need that exposure.”
Allee said the college’s location has a lot to do with its lack of diversity.
“But I think that the programs that we offer are getting us towards a goal of integrating more diverse events on campus,” Allee said. “It’s an opportunity to bring to light to some things that could be resolved.”