Renzi speaks about diversity

Megan Engle

Everyone is different and unique.

Thursday was a celebration of this uniqueness across campus as the third annual “Diversity Rocks” got underway.

DUC South Lawn was filled with fun and entertainment in honor of this occasion. Celebrity guest Dan Renzi of “Real World” fame also appeared.

MTV’s reality show “The Real World” is a documentary of the life of seven young adults in their late teens to late 20’s. The seven strangers live in the same house, and MTV has cameras follow these willing participants, catching every move they make.

Renzi, a cast member of “The Real World” in Miami, spoke to students, faculty and staff on DUC South Lawn about his experiences on the “Real World” and in life.

Even with the gloomy weather, people still gathered to hear him.

He spoke of his childhood experiences, his high school prom, his family and life on “The Real World.” His main focus, though, was the fact that diversity isn’t going away, and people should take the time to learn about each other.

Eyes were glued and ears were intent on the combination of humor and seriousness with which Renzi spoke.

“When you talk about these issues, it’s everyone’s own opinion,” Renzi said. “Enjoy your right of free speech, it’s really fun.”

“Diversity Rocks” was a day of celebration where people gathered to recognize and respect each other’s differences.

“Diversity is what makes us, and we need to celebrate it,” said Brad Williams, a senior from Gallatin, Tenn.

Free food, drinks and goodies were handed out by different organizations that participated by setting up booths. There were eight booths present. The organizations represented ranged from SGA to The Outlet.

“It’s really cool,” said Nashville freshman Heather Nousome. “It’s an opportunity for everyone to come, be themselves and not worry about criticism.”

People came out for many different reasons. Some to hear Renzi and some to learn about the different organizations participating. Some wore a rainbow ribbon pinned on their clothes to support gay pride.

“It’s good that they brought out a celebrity to reach out to other people like fraternities and sororities,” Williams said. “People have seen him on ‘The Real World’ and know him as a normal guy that just happens to be gay.”

Bowling Green senior Denise Easter said that she usually watches “The Real World” and wanted to hear all that Renzi had to speak about.

Not only did Renzi talk about his life and the importance of being exposed to other’s beliefs and cultures, but he also gave a short lesson on the past and present of gay symbols, such as the pink triangle and the rainbow. He called it “History 101.”

While Renzi spoke, laughs were heard in every direction, but a hush would come over the crowd when Renzi made a significant statement. The audience was given the chance to participate by asking him questions, and many students jumped on this opportunity.

“It’s great when you have events like this,” Renzi said. “The point of diversity is opening up.”

Many people seemed to leave the event with a new take on life.

“I thought he was really funny, really good,” said Fort Thomas sophomore Andrea Reitami.

Renzi said that what he does for a living couldn’t get any better.

“It’s fun. You get to meet people,” he explained. “It’s the best job. You get many interesting perspectives.”

Reach Megan Engle at [email protected]