Santa Clara University


The Big Q

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The following postings have been filtered by tag race. clear filter
  •  Diversity on College Campuses

    Friday, Feb. 13, 2015

    According to the Santa Clara University website, nearly half of our student body identifies as “white.” This statistic leaves proportionally small percentages to minority groups like Hispanics, Asians, and African Americans.  There are only 166 African American students out of roughly 5,000 undergraduates.

    The numbers made me think. College campuses need diversity. Diversity means change and tolerance.  We learn from people with different backgrounds; these differences encourage collaboration and foster innovation. In fact, a study by Aaron Thompson, professor of sociology at Eastern Kentucky University notes that diversity:
    • expands worldliness
    • enhances social development
    • prepares students for future career success
    • prepares students for work in a global society
    • promotes creative thinking
    • enhances self-awareness
    College marks a pivotal time in our young adult lives. During these four years, we should grow together. We should embrace and accept the beautiful differences in our friends, classmates, and coworkers—but, does SCU have an inclusive environment? The statistics and research prompted me to ask a couple Big Qs.
    Do we consider our university to be accepting?
    Does Santa Clara welcome diversity?
    To present the question to the student body, I decided to turn to a popular discussion forum—YikYak. The smartphone application allows users to post anonymous, geo-specific “yaks” that other users can agree with (up-vote) or disagree with (down-vote), as well as comment. The app creates a safe space for discussion, free of judgment. A few days ago, I wrote, “Is SCU an accepting environment for minorities?”
    My post received 15 responses, including the following:
    One user responded with a short “nope.”
    Another user wrote, “You’re not gonna get to participate in the hook-up culture but otherwise it’s chill.” His or her post received 22 up-votes.
    “SCU is okay. Be prepared for all sorts of racist microagressions like the ones found in this thread tho.”
    Several hours later, another user posted, “Will you get sh*t? Yes. Is it as bad as the schools in the south? No.”
    What would you Yak?
  •  Living Situations

    Monday, Aug. 22, 2011

     Best student comment wins a $50 Amazon Gift Certificate. Responses must be received by midnight August 29, 2011


    With his acceptance to his first-choice school, a medium-sized private university far from his hometown, Mo gets a package of information about his options for dorm living. He’s heard a lot about the various Residential Learning Communities on campus, each of which focuses on a different theme. As an African American, Mo is interested in exploring his racial and cultural identity, so he’s drawn to the African American–themed dorm, United. But then he wonders whether living in United will limit his interactions with students from other communities. He doesn’t want to be defined entirely by being African American, but he also doesn’t want to feel isolated in a dorm where there may be no other African American students.

    Should Mo choose the United dorm knowing it may allow him the best chance to explore his ethnic identity, or should he opt for another residence hall where the dorm’s theme may attract a wider variety of students?

    Some resources you may find useful:

    A Framework for Ethical Decision Making 

    The Impact of Diversity on College Students

    Why Does Diversity Matter in College Anyways?


    Photo by Derek Severson available under Attribution- Non Commercial- No Derivs License.


  •  Theme Party

    Monday, Apr. 11, 2011

    Michelle is looking through Facebook after class and notices that her good friend Anthony has a new album uploaded on his profile entitled “FOBs R Us.” Michelle looks through the photos and video clips and sees that both white students and students of color are depicting stereotypes of immigrants from Asia. There are people speaking in fake accents, wearing pointed farmer’s hats and ethnic garb, bowing to each other, posing in mock martial arts positions, and carrying around chopsticks in their pockets.

    Michelle knows that most of the photos were taken at a “Fresh Off the Boat” party Anthony held the weekend before. Michelle was invited but made up an excuse not to go because the whole idea made her uncomfortable. Now that she sees the photos, she’s even more uncomfortable, but she notices that a lot of her friends have “liked” pictures from the album. Is there something wrong with Michelle’s sense of humor, or is there something wrong with the FOBs R Us?

    Here are some resources that might be helpful:

    Racist Theme Parties: Freedom of Speech or Freedom to Hate 

    Discussion of UCSD "Compton Cookout" by the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education

    A Framework for Ethical Decision Making

    Photo by Swamibu available under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial License.