In my previous post I examined how diversity plays out across the nation on various types of college campuses. I explained the differences between Historically Black Colleges and Universities and Predominantly White Colleges and how the different experiences that a student might have at each type of school would affect their life past college. Now, I want to examine how diversity plays out on an international scale. Do other countries value diversity and consider it an issue as we do here in the states? How diverse are other countries compared to America? On a scale where diversity is measured in the difference in ethnicity language, and religion America gains a very high rank while countries such as South Korea are described as ethnically homogeneous and those who are not Korean are discriminated against or shunned. .
In America and other countries such as Canada and England, there are organizations that work to promote diversity not only in everyday life but also the workplace. Foundations such as Global Diversity (The company and the organization). These organizations believe that diverse societies are the only way that people can truly express themselves in a society. How is diversity seen in places such as third world countries? There are countries where there simply is no word for diversity due to the fact that on the grand scale of issues, diversity does not rank so high. It sounds harsh but in a place where food and water are not always guaranteed I don’t think the citizens are going to be too focused on how high their country ranks on the diversity index. It seems that the view of diversity as a cultural issue is something that only first world countries deal with.
If we as a society are to come to terms with how diversity is looked at and dealt with it seems that first there should be a recognized, worldwide view on what exactly a fundamental right is. We need to gauge if by “diversity” some countries mean in terms of gender, race, or other terms. There also needs to be a re-examination of how important diversity is in other cultures. In some parts of Europe, diversity is sometimes an illegal issue to talk about and not at all discussed like it is here By doing this we can then begin to address the various problems that come along with diversity.
After reading various articles on the subject of diversity on a global scale, I feel that the issue should be kept on more of a regional scale. For instance, each country or state should choose how they want to deal with diversity. The reason for this is that because there can really be no way to move forward in terms of diversity if not everyone views the issue the same way which I mentioned is the case with third world countries.
In my last post, I focused on the issue of diversity within college campuses . I brought up the issue of how diversity can be seen differently in various contexts such as the lack of diversity on a campus such as Penn State’s. Some of the comments on my last post encouraged me to explore the various contexts in which diversity plays out around the country. Through some research I saw exactly what some teaching institutions in this country have to offer in terms of diversity. As I explained in my last post Penn State can be considered a Predominantly White University or PWI. There are also schools called HBCU’s or Historically Black Colleges and Universities that have a predominantly black population. The education at both types of institutions is the same but people may view what exactly you get out of attending these types of schools. Both of these types of universities are considered extremes of the spectrum and the students who attend them have various ideas about the experience one would receive by attending. The debate has raged on for years on which type of education is better. The ideal choice seems to be schools like Rutgers or Stanford that have the highest diversity ratings in the country with a 0.76. For comparison, Penn State has a diversity rating of 0.32. Ultimately I think that one school makes you appreciate the other. It’s like a “the grass is greener on the other side” situation. One isn’t really better than the other, it simply relies on perception.
Personally, I was encouraged to attend an HBCU but I decided not to because I know that the world is not only inhabited by black people so my university shouldn’t be like that. However, I also have friends who go here who would rather attend an HBCU simply for the experience of being around people with similar experiences. This brings up the information from Chapter 2 of Gastil’s PCD that people are more comfortable with people more like themselves. This begs the question; can we ever have a truly diverse society if we are fundamentally drawn to others like us? From a scientific standpoint, diversity is seen as a fundamental element between humans and a socio-ecosystem. We attend college to get us ready for the “real world”. It’s important to make diversity an important part of one’s life now before you enter into the workforce with a false sense of society. Diversity in an educational setting will ultimately foster diversity in a real setting.
Does a school’s lack of diversity cause certain problems for the institution? We all remember the heat that girls from the sorority Chi Omega came under for posing with racially insensitive signs and costumes. If the diverse on campus was more prominent, this situation might not have occurred simply for the reason that one is less likely to say something about a certain minority group they are surrounded by.Comment below on what you think!
The issue of diversity is one that I feel is always at the forefront of my mind. Especially since I’ve observed what Penn State has to offer in terms of diversity on campus and its various programs for minority students. Before I decided to come here I was warned that there would be no one like me and that I needed to think carefully about how important diversity is to me. Thankfully, I feel that I have been introduced to people who are just like me but others who are different as well. If you didn’t already know there are many programs and organizations that help to foster diversity here at Penn State. First there’s FastStart and also Blueprint which are both peer mentoring programs for minority students. It’s very likely that a person of color will be made to feel included on a campus that doesn’t seem to have very much diversity. This definitely reassured me because when you look at the specific statistics for diversity at Penn State, it’s a little daunting. 76% of the students here are Caucasian while only 4% of students are African American.
I believe that the way that diversity plays out on a college campus is distinctly different than it does in a “real world” context. Especially on this campus, everyone seems to keep to themselves. Asians with Asians, the Black people stick together, and so forth. Not that I don’t like keeping company with people like me but various problems could arise with this setup. For instance, no one is going to mix unless you’re put in a setting where you have to. I’m not talking about a classroom setting where there is always a variety of ethnicities. I mean the people you eat lunch with or party on a Saturday night with. If you don’t make a conscious effort to make your social circle implicitly diverse then it won’t be. I obviously do not have all the answers as to why people break into such clusters on a big campus such as this. Maybe it is for comfort; people stick with what they know. Or perhaps there is just a comfort in spending time with people who share your same experiences.
The one thing I do know is that diversity is important in all aspects of life. Especially in a college setting, the need for diversity is great. With a great amount of diversity, one learns to appreciate not only other cultures but their own as well. In addition to cultural education, one can become worldlier simply by being exposed to other cultures. The U.S. News article I previously mentioned helps bring the issue of diversity into a much needed national debate. Race relations is something that should matter to everyone, not just minorities.
I don’t feel that my experience here at Penn State is hindered in any way shape or form by the seemingly lack of diversity on campus. If I want I can immerse myself in all types of cultures. However, I do wish that there could be an answer to be found for the questions that I asked earlier as to why this campus is not more diversified. Leave your comments and opinions below whether you completely disagree or see the same things that I do here on campus.
So I’m really excited about this new Civic Issues blog, and I already know that I’m going to like it more than the RCL blog. As I looked through the various topics one that caught my eye was education. Some of the subtopics include college sports, diversity funding, public education, and the liberal arts. Although I’m not sure right now, the specific issue that I will most likely focus on is diversity on campus. As a person of color, diversity is very important to me and it’s an issue that is at the forefront of my mind in basically everything I do.
The only thing I’m worried about is wanting to change my topic after one post. But the good thing is that I know that there’s a wealth of information on this topic and I will have no problem finding videos, links, and articles about this particular topic.Read More