An incredibly easy way to make the campus feel more inclusive is to actually practice the speaking tradition. I know some people don’t buy into this tradition or neglect to greet other people for a couple of reasons (i.e., had a bad day/don’t feel like it, innocuously forgot to do so, avert “awkwardness”, wasn’t raised to do so/doesn’t say hi to strangers, etc.)
Doing this occasionally is fine, and I as a POC acknowledge that I fail to live up to this tradition at times for those reasons.
However, HABITUALLY and completely failing to do so is what I take issue with. To be clear, I’m not suggesting that one needs to be a beaming sunflower and say hi to every single face they see.
It only makes me feel all the more invisible on campus when I walk past someone and am ready to acknowledge them with a slight nod or awkward smile, only to be met with a blank stare or a last second reach-into-my-pocket-to-get-their-phone (which makes the awkwardness even more overt) as if I am not there. Things like these are noticed over time.
If we hold the door for each other, why is a simple courtesy to another person so difficult and evasive? Why are “heys” and common respect towards each other seemingly “rationed”?