This semester seems to show an increased number of Hispanic students enrolled in my classes, a reflection of the changing demographics of Baton Rouge. Perhaps the 2010 census will reveal similar changes in BR demographics. One neat thing about my college is its diversity. The campus is a much more wheel-chair accessible campus because it’s new. There are many students on the GI bill. This is just a speculation though. There are many newly immigrated students there too, especially Asian students. Perhaps the school is more welcoming and English is easier learned there. As a result of all this, the students in my classes are more exposed to differences than they are at LSU, which makes us all stretch as teachers and learners.
I remember attending a meeting about two years ago for a local organization where the members were trying to decide on a national and local legislative agenda. People quickly dismissed any immigration-related bills, which was rather unfortunate. They felt the issues were irrelevant to BR’s demographics. This belief contradicted the example of the non-English speaking Mexicans who had come up from Texas (according to their supervisor) to work on my roof after Katrina. How could people say that immigration is irrelevant to our community? It’s an issue that receives minimal attention locally.