To Be On The Outside Always Looking In

Malachi Mungoshi

Viewpoints Co-Editor

 

As an international student, traveling during a pandemic was very difficult to do. I know that every individual’s experience is different, but there are certain commonalities to be found:  TSA checkpoints, immigration documents, visa interviews, being away from home, etc. This is a mammoth of a task, and to add onto all of that, we then have to assimilate to a brand new environment, sometimes even a new culture and ways of doing certain things and interacting with fellow students. The last thing anyone would need in this situation is to feel alienated in any way. So then why do we find ourselves having to apply for an Ohio State ID in order to be correctly identified to enter The Underground (the UG) for events? This feels like a form of discrimination, and an unfair and unnecessary process. All over the world, passports are seen as a much more trusted and valid form of documentation than state IDs. People fake IDs all the time. While I understand that the school is not deciding to enforce this of their own volition, the problem that I, among a variety of my friends have is that the school has not given us much support in terms of applying for these required forms of identification beyond a few steps in a document. Most students are not able to pay the required amount, or to get themselves to and from the desired locations off campus for this process to be undertaken.  The International Students Services (ISS),  should ideally be looking for ways to help students fill out these forms and get transport from the school, as it is no fault of our own that we do not have Ohio State IDs. We shouldn’t have to feel like we are alienated from the rest of the students and not able to enjoy something as simple as a Bingo Night or a dance event, regardless of whether or not alcohol is being served. The school has to do better in how they treat their students in general, but it is very hard to feel like an outsider and be treated as one too.