Community Voices: Defining Diversity

Posted: March 31, 2003

Diversity should not be a factor in admissions

Diversity is being distinct or unlike others; it is having variety in form. Diversity is a difference and variation in the population. Typically, when people think of what makes a body diverse, they think of having people of different races, genders, ethnicities and religions. Colleges and universities often strive to create environments that encompass such a student body.

In my college experience, I have seen a moderate amount of diversity. At our small liberal-arts school in the Philadelphia area, there are a large number of students from the city, as well as many from nearby suburbs. Diversity in a classroom and college setting is a great thing.

However, when a school admissions team goes through applications and looks at diversity as a factor, it is not a good thing. It is understandable that a college would want to make sure that it is forming a diversified group of students. It looks good when a college can say it has a large number of star athletes, foreign students and inner-city schoolkids.

That is not fair at all. Many schools also offer scholarship money to students simply because of their race or ethnicity, not for academic reasons. Is it not true that we want to form schools and people that are not prejudiced and not biased? Why, then, are we making exceptions for people just because of what they are born into? Trying to create diversity in our schools when we make race and ethnicity an issue is prejudice. If we are accepting people based on their race, we are doing something just as wrong as if we did not accept individuals because of their race.

Jennifer Boozok

Cherry Hill

Student

Eastern University

St. Davids

Prepare for future

I firmly believe in the idea that colleges are supposed to prepare their students for the future. I think that colleges are meant to help give a glimpse of the real world to their students. In a slight sense, affirmative action is helping to do just that.

America is much more diverse than it was. Affirmative action is allowing schools to become more diversified in attendance. Certain standards are being set to open up the doors to more minorities and smaller ethnic groups that want to attend college.

Essentially, the student who is surrounded by the vast array of cultural differences will have a broader mind. It is incredible to think of the endless knowledge that can be gained from interacting with several others from different cultures. Personally, attending a college with a good amount of diversity has helped me grow as an individual and appreciate other ethnicities.

Although I strongly feel that every applicant should have an equal chance in being evaluated for acceptance into a school, I think admitting a good number of ethnic students is important as well. Surely, the minority student must be academically qualified for the college and meet the requirements to be accepted. However, making sure that there is a diverse student body would be an ideal setup for any college.

Grace Scully

Blackwood

Gwynedd-Mercy College

Gwynedd Valley

|
|
|
|
|