By: Leah Alsept
Seth Butler speaks on his journey, the DEI space, future goals & more!
Seth Butler is a Findlay, Ohio native, graduating from Liberty Benton High School and branching out to Colorado State University for college. When he returned to Findlay five years ago, he set foot on the University of Findlay campus and eventually became the current Director of Intercultural Student Services.
One of his goals is trying to make campus a more welcoming place for Oilers of all ethnicities and backgrounds.
“There’s lots of good opportunity to break down stereotypes and notions and debunk things that persist,” Butler said.
Still, problems persist.
“None of us are experts,” says Butler. The homogeneousness of a small midwestern town like Findlay can be hard to start conversations around race relations, he says. “There are times we enter in with those stereotypes and those notions at play already.”
“I’ve had [white] students say that they don’t like to enter into the conversation ‘cuz they feel like they’re always gonna get attacked by, by a person of color. I’ve had black students say that they don’t like to enter into the conversations because they don’t always want to be the ones who having to educate and to teach.”
The unification of people is something Butler strives for. Understanding the perspectives of others is how he teaches students to do that in the classroom.
“Ultimately my goal isn’t to necessarily change people’s mindsets all the time. It’s more so to create bridges for you to get to know somebody that you would not have gotten to know otherwise,” Butler said. “If you get to know them, you’re gonna care about them. If you care about them, you’re gonna treat them a certain way. You’re gonna understand them. You’re gonna want them to succeed and thrive in life.”
Listening, he says, is what it all comes down to.
Watch the full interview between WLFC station manager Alex “A.D.” Davis and Seth Butler on WLFC 88.3’s YouTube channel: