Students received the opportunity to share their thoughts on VSU’s diversity at a forum Nov. 17, in a University Center classroom. The forum focused strictly on the faculty and student opinions on the issue of having enough diversity on campus.
The form began with a video which highlighted MLK’s “I Have a Dream” speech via song and proceeded to continue with interviews with professors. After the staff expressed its opinions, the video moved on to photos and interviews with students.
The interviews included diversity statistics—one of which noted that 78 percent of VSU’s employees are Caucasian.
To conclude the video, the students included a clip from “Last Chance for Eden,” in which people shared their life stories about their struggles due to their ethnicities.
Another part of the video’s finale was the comparison between the definition of a U.S. citizen and the definition of an American. As the forum progressed, students were asked questions to get a glimpse of how they felt about diversity surrounding VSU. This involved giving their definitions.
Many of the descriptions included some of the same vocabulary. However, one student mentioned regions as apart of her explanation.
Though there was one opposing student who said that diversity wasn’t that much of a problem on campus, everyone else was on the same page in thinking that an issue has arisen.
A couple of the attendees at the forum said that they have only seen or heard of one African-American professor. A few said that they have yet to see a professor of any other ethnicity teaching on campus, though they would like to.
The responses at the forum not only covered student enrollment and faculty presence, but organizations, as well.
Some of the major organizations that were targeted as not being diverse enough were campus sororities and fraternities.
“Greek life is segregated,” Patrice Moore, sophomore athletic training major said.
Some of the students commented that the sororities and fraternities on campus seem to be either all Caucasian or all African-American. It was stated by one of the students that Greek life is supposed to be a mixture.
Diversity in sexual orientation was also a part of the discussion.
VSU’s Gay/Straight Alliance focuses on training those that would like to assist with the issue of bringing heterosexuals and homosexuals together. They also give training so people can know what to do when bullying occurs within the orientations.