For the latter half of this semester, in my social stratification class, we have been working on a group project on a topic of inequality on campus of our choice. My group chose to delve into OSU’s portrayal as a diverse institution, but this portrayed image not corresponding to the racial demographics that we see on campus. We interviewed staff members that work to improve opportunities and representation for the most underserved groups, Latinx/Hispanic and African American/ Black students. We got their perspective into the barriers for minority enrollment and what can be done to improve these programs from both higher-level administrators and students. Additionally, we interviewed students in some of these programs to get their view of how they see the diversity of campus and how it has impacted their college experience.
A short excerpt from our group’s work to give a peek into our project is as follows: “When comparing the racial demographics of the student body released by the Undergraduate Student Government, we discovered that nearly 70% of students on campus identify as White while only 4% identify as Latinx or Hispanic and 6.6% identify as African American or Black. While comparing these statistics to those of the Columbus community we became more aware of how much our campus doesn’t reflect the city that we live in. In Columbus, Ohio 61% of people identify as white while 28% identify as African American or Black and 5.5% of Columbus residents identify as Hispanic or Latinx. It must be understood that there are barriers in place that prevent many people of color from accessing higher education, but as a PWI with a commitment to increasing diversity on campus OSU is in a position of power to make their students of color feel represented and appreciated on campus.”
Overall, I enjoyed working with my group on the project. As a student, being able to advocate and raise awareness for the change I would like to see on campus, along with working with individuals from diverse backgrounds that want to see the same change as well, will be something that sticks with me from my college experience. Moving forward this provides me with another fire lit inside of me and a reminder of why I advocate for social justice, diversity, and inclusion both on and off campus.