Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Diversity: An Observation

When trying to think of something to write my first Diversity at Dominican post for DominiNET, I was at a loss. Most of my colleagues had already covered diversity on campus so well in their posts, I thought I would have nothing new to contribute. Maybe I was right.

Dominican prides itself on being a diverse campus. And for the most part, it is. I'm not questioning that aspect of our community. I see all different kinds of people here and all sorts of lifestyles. But as I've seen from some of what my colleagues post on this blog and what many people I know have pointed out to me, there is diversity, only in small portions.

There are several groups that play into diversity here: OLA, Black Student Union, and Italian Club just to name a few. And they all have an active presence on campus. These groups offer lots of great activities and events as well. People from other social or ethnic groups aren't very involved in some groups (although I'm not saying there's a total lack of involvement in groups like these from people of other ethnic or social backgrounds). But our community is a small one. And while many of the groups are relatively small and somewhat isolated in terms of the backgrounds of their members, they are still there. There is a diverse population here, but it is a small one. While white, upper-middle-class students are one of the bigger groups, just about every other ethnic group of students at Dominican is represented and has a presence on campus.

I know people who say "Dominican isn't very diverse, there's just a bunch of white kids, some Latinos, and some black and Asian kids randomly spread among everyone. Dominican's not very diverse." Ok, but aren't those other non-white ethnic groups still there nonetheless? The relatively small numbers of these groups doesn't mean that Dominican is any less diverse.

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