Studies show diversity is beneficial for the ultimate college experience. Exposure to a vast group of differing people is helpful academically and socially.
In the Review of Educational Research, college students will ultimately work and live in an increasingly mixed society. Students exposed to diverse people and perspectives may be more motivated and prepared in the work force.
“Academically, everyone is on a different playing field and you get to learn that not everyone is educated just like you are…people come from different backgrounds,” Cristina Garcia, a broadcasting major, said.
Garcia, who is African-American and Hispanic, said race still plays a role in stereotypes.
“It’s sad because its 2012 and you would think that being at a place of higher education there wouldn’t be any social barriers,” Garcia said.Other students explain instances of discrimination.
“The first thing they’ll see is my black skin color and they might associate that with a poor black person from the ghetto and he doesn’t know anything,” Bryan Samuel, a senior broadcasting major, said. “Hopefully when I speak and present myself, they can see otherwise that I am a person of intellect and hold up standards of an education.”
Mass Communication major Christen Jackson, whose adoptive parents are Caucasian, shared a similar perspective.
“With me being black, I feel like sometimes people are watching to see if I’m going to slip up or if I’m going to act stereotypical or cliché of a black person,” Jackson said.
According to the most recent summary statistics, WT’s population consists of six percent African-American students.
“When I first started out here there weren’t very many black people and then each year it progresses, so it makes me feel more comfortable,” Jackson said.
Samuel describes his daily interaction among other ethnicities as a way to broaden his education.
“When we get out into the real world, we’re going to be facing a lot of different diversities and interactions with other races and groups, so I think it’s very important,” Samuel said.