The Bethel College Family prides itself on the claim that they are the Thresher Community. At a first glance, it does seem to have a sense of community here, but when you look deeper, Bethel is full of cliques. You see them everywhere in sports, theater, music, clubs, everywhere. Through these cliques we have lost our sense of community.
It is normal if you are in a large group to start associating with people who share a common interest with you, but it becomes a problem when groups stop associating with people just because they are different or don’t share a common interest or goal. We become close-minded when start believing that our one opinion is correct and everyone else is wrong.
You normally see this in a high school setting, but here at Bethel College, we are surrounded by the fact it is hard to break stereotypes and understand there is more to people than what meets the eye. We have lost the common goal we are all supposed to be supporting as a whole. The Bethel community needs a common goal or interest if they ever intend on truly becoming a strong community.
A community is a group with a common interest that lives in the same area together; one group with a common interest, not 20 groups with different interests or even 5 groups with different interests, but one group. That means unless the cliques bond together and find a common interest, there will not be the large Bethel community this college strives for.
The last question being left unsaid is what would the one interest be? Would it be something about the college itself, or perhaps the interest would be on peers around us, because if everyone has an interest in the people around themselves then no one should be left out.
If we stop focusing on ourselves and open up to the other people around us, then we overcome the impending segregation between each other by stop the cliques from even forming.
In the end, however, it is up to the people living here to first decide to make the change to end cliques and their existence here. No one person can make that conscience decision alone, but perhaps they can invoke the change and start the momentum of a movement that would inevitably become the movement that creates our Bethel community.