Sep 142009
 
Authors: Josh Phillips

Recently, CSU has been recognized by Minority Access, Inc. for its efforts to promote diversity in the field of biomedical research. However, many students are questioning if CSU deserves this award since the campus remains predominantly white.

According to the Colorado State University Fact Book 2008-2009, non-white students account for 13.3 percent of the student body.

Compare these to the U.S. Census Bureau’s estimated population and demographics of Colorado circa July 2008. White people made up around 89.7 percent of the population, while non-whites made up 10.3 percent.

In essence, CSU has managed to garner a student body that is proportionately more diverse than Colorado as a whole.

Thus, it should be evident that CSU has indeed been making improvements in its outreach to non-white students.

Now, we can constantly quantify diversity and we’ll still be making one serious error. In focusing solely on these statistics, we have made the word “diversity” synonymous with “color”. Simply put, a particular region is not lacking diversity if it has only white people or only black people or only Asian people.

We have students here who come from all backgrounds, from the barrel-racing, rodeo-loving farmer who grew up in Texas to the book-reading, guitar-playing yuppie who was raised in a large city on the East Coast.

The bottom line is that we can group people by their skin color all day long, but we can never capture the decisions in their lives that have shaped them into the person they are today.

And I think it’s pretty clear that CSU is doing a fine job of welcoming and accommodating everybody, regardless of their background.

Josh Phillips is a senior business administration major. His column appears Tuesdays in the Collegian. Letters and feedback can be sent to letters@collegian.com.

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