Former U.S. Surgeon General Speaks at ASU

MARCH  29, 2006 -- POSTED AT 10:00 P.M.

JONESBORO, AR -- America may be best known as a melting pot of cultures and according to former U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Joycelyn Elders, understanding other cultures is a key to our way of life.

"Unless we know and understand others cultures, we don't know how to appreciate and take advantage of all the opportunities and the things they bring to us," says Dr. Joycelyn Elders, Former U.S. Surgeon General appointed by President Clinton in 1993.

Elders says that Arkansas State can't afford to have a multicultural week without talking about women and women's health. Issues she's focused on throughout her career.

"The major health problem that any of us face right now is that we don't have universal access to healthcare, and poverty and ignorance. That's not such a major problem for the students here at ASU because they're going to be the new leaders that are going to change all that," says Elders.

Dozens of students gathered mostly to listen to someone many said they've admired for years. But most importantly, the students realized the importance of the event and the issues that they face.

“It shows that Arkansas State is taking a stance on issues like this. We're leading the way and if ASU is doing it, maybe other colleges throughout Arkansas can also take a stance on this,” says Tiffany Frazier, ASU Junior Biology Major and SGA Vice President.

Dr. Elders had to leave one last bit of advice for the students.

“Never fear failure. The only time you can't afford to fail, is the last time you try,” says Elders.  

Thursday is the last day for festivities during ASU's Multicultural Week. A week that hopefully will help students, and others, understand the different cultures of America.