i Diversity in College | COLLEGE WRITING: DEBATE(S) IN HIGHER EDCUATION

Bridget Leen

Through out life, diversity can play a big role. There will be diversity through out every type of schooling that we go through, and in jobs. We have to learn how to deal with different types of people. If we do not learn how to work with people that are not the same nationality, religion, and economic background as us, then we will never learn anything. It is good to learn about different people when we are younger. When we are children, we are more accepting of others. As we get older we tend to be more judgmental of people. A lot of the time, people stay with what they are comfortable with, so they do not branch out to see what other people are like. In college, there are so many different people that we meet. If we learn how to deal with different people when we are younger, it will be easier to converse with them in the future. Colleges should be more diverse because it will teach us valuable lessons for the future. I personally feel that St. Norbert College should be more diverse. If SNC is more diverse, the students will not only learn things in class, they will learn outside of the classroom, like how to deal with other races, religions, and people who are not in the same fanatical situation as themselves.

At St. Norbert college, there is not that much diversity. 89% of our students are Caucasian, 47% are Roman Catholic, and 97% of students receive financial aid. Zac Chase wrote an article in the St. Norbert Times about diversity. In the mission statement it talks about valuing diversity. In Chase’s article he asks the question “If St. Norbert values diversity, then why are all of the Asian students sitting together at lunch?” I thought that this was a great question. My high school was very diverse, even though it was a small catholic school. Even then the people in my high school sat with people that were like them. All the Hispanic students sat with one another. This went for all races at my school. It is not that they did not like each other, a lot of people of different races got along together at my school. It is just that we tend to feel more comfortable with people that are like us. I came to college to get an education and to learn about other people and their cultures. But because SNC is not very diverse it is hard to learn about different races. When a school is more diverse, the students have more knowledge about different types of people. It will also help students prepare for the futures.

Diversity is important in schools because students learn how to deal with different people. Students also increase their knowledge of other cultures. Having diverse schools prepares us for the future. We learn how to work with people on a global basis. Jeremy S. Hyman and Lynn F. Jacobs wrote an article named “Why Does Diversity Matter at College Anyway?”. They talk about how important diversity is at the collegiate level. They give eight reasons why it matters in college. Some of their eight reasons are “Diversity expands worldliness, enhances social development, prepares students for the future career success, prepares students for work in a global society, increase our knowledge base”. These are all great reasons to have a diverse college. If you do not know how to deal with other people you will not get very far in life. When people are ignorant to other people that are different from them, they are closed mined. They do not want to work with anyone different from them. We all need to be able to work with other people otherwise not much will get done.

When we have diversity in schools and work, it drives everyone to do their best. People do not slack off as much, because they want to prove that they are the best. To go along with Hyman and Jacobs, Sophia Kerby wrote “10 Reasons Why We Need Diversity on College Campuses”. Kerby has some similar points as Hyman and Jacobs, but she also has different points. When there is diversity in the work place it drives employees to do better. They want to show that they are the best, so even in the work place it is good to have diversity. She also talks about how diversity is good in the U.S. armed forces. This shows that we as a country, are one. CBS News did an article showing that most Americans are for diversity in education: “Views on programs for low-income people are also less partisan. 71 percent of Republicans favor these programs, as do 81 percent of Democrats and 83 percent of independents”. Diversity in school or even in the work place drives us to do better. So being diverse is better for everyone in the long run.

When we hear the word diversity we most likely think of just race, but there is more to it than that. We often forget that social class and religion have to do with diversity also. In The New York Times, there was an article written about The University of Florida and Amherst and how they had raised money for students that are talented but do not have the money to go to college. Universities reallocated some money from more wealthy student and gave that money to students whose parents did not attend college. Within the last ten years, colleges decided that it was most important to have economically diverse students. Only few have actually kept their word about this. Vassar was an all female college in the Hudson River Valley and they helped poor students get an education: “About 23 percent of Vassar’s freshmen in recent years have received federal Pell grants (which mean they come from roughly the bottom 40 percent of the income distribution), up from 12 percent in 2007”. It is great that some colleges are making sure that they have money for poor students. I believe that more colleges should be doing this, because college students are our country’s future. If colleges did not give out scholarships, a lot of good students would not be able to afford college. I think that if colleges are going to be so expensive, they should keep giving out scholarships.

At St. Norbert there is some diversity, but I feel like there should be more. Like stated before we are mostly a white community, most of our students receive some kind of fanatical aid, but for religion even though Roam Catholic is the highest percent there are still a lot of other religions on this campus. Altogether, diversity is a good thing in colleges. When colleges have diversity they teach their students how to interact with people of different backgrounds and religions. Colleges that are diverse give their students the opportunity to succeed in the future. They will be ahead of the game, because those students will learn how work with other people, not just people like them.

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