An Exploration of Privilege

Students gathered in CSU’s multimedia room for an activity-filled night to learn about privilege


Students were asked to identify their personal privileges. Photo courtesy of Skylar Diehl.

  The Office of Diversity Programs and Services of CSU hosted a night of discussion and activities centered around privilege on Aug. 21. At the “Welcome to my Bubble” event, students discussed what privilege means for them and explored the differences of what it means for others. 


    Sexuality, Gender/Sex, Race, Religion, and Class: These were the different forms of privilege that students found as the main topics on poster boards across a row of five tables, each holding a different color dye. Each poster board asked students five questions, and  for every question you replied yes to, you splattered a streak of “privileged” dye onto your shirt. Students’ shirts varied in colouration, depending on their responses. 

One kind of privilege students were asked to identify was class. Photo courtesy of Skylar Diehl.


   “At different points we step forward together, and at different points we step back together,” said Korie MacDougall, who assisted in running the event, when the privilege walk activity was finished. The students were able to look around the room as MacDougall spoke, taking a moment to realize where others stood, after responding to questions from MacDougall by stepping forward, backward, or remaining where they were. Questions included if you were able to feel safe walking home alone at night, if you’d been a child of divorced parents growing up, and many more. 

Students participated in the privilege walk to demonstrate where they stood in life compared to their peers. Photo courtesy of Skylar Diehl.


   In response to the walk, student Rasheed Tillman stated, “I didn’t like to see people behind me, because I wanted to reach back and help them, and pull them forward.” Tillman further explained that looking around at others as he either moved forward or backward, made him question how he had gotten to where he stood, as well as how others had gotten to where they stood. 


    Denzel Felder found the event to be “eye opening,” and said that while he didn’t consider himself a tie dye expert, he really enjoyed the privilege walk activity and was surprised to see where he stood at the end. 


    Deja Dalton, who created this event alongside her partner at the Office of Diversity Programs and Services, talked about what inspired her to host an event on privilege: “I wanted to create this event because I feel like in this era, there’s a lot of talk about privilege.“I wanted this activity to make people really think outside their normal. We all are able, we all have a privilege in something, in some category.” Dalton hopes for students to be able to understand each other better by either finding commonalities in their privilege or by embracing their differences.