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?