We all say diversity makes a difference. We can say diversity brings people different from ourselves to life in our own very lives. So, why aren’t these opinions being put into practice?

In today’s society, we believe and yearn to close gaps in understanding among various groups of people. It makes breaking down barriers everybody’s issue instead of a marginalized group’s issue.

At GU, it is said there are primarily white male professors, and there is a lack of diversity in the faculty. College Factual is a website that combines a multitude of factors, such as racial, geographic, gender and age diversity, to come up with diversity grades for each school.

According to College Factual, the ratio of male-to -female faculty at Gonzaga is considered excellent. Of the staff, 53.1% of faculty members are female, and 46.9% are male.

It’s awesome there is a substantial number of women as faculty members, but among the staff at GU, how many members are people of color?

According to College Factual, the racial diversity of the faculty is below the national average. The majority of staff members that are white reaches 86.5%. Faculty members of color is only 13.5%. This includes African American/ Black, Latin, Asian, American Indian/Alaska Native, Non-Resident Alien (a person, who is not a U.S. citizen, who has not passed the green card test or the substantial presence test) or Ethnicity Unknown.

This is my second year at GU. Yes, I do see more female faculty members than men, but I am not at all surprised by the racial diversity of the faculty being below the national average.

It’s important for students, especially students of color, to see themselves represented in their own classrooms because representation is essential. Racial diversity can benefit every workforce.

Teachers from different backgrounds, colors and cultures can bring a sense of comfort toward students of color at GU, while giving broader points of view on particular topics that can not only lead to a better understanding of our world today, but give the student body a greater diversity of thought.

It can be seen as exciting, interesting and intriguing to understand another point of view and finding out different things about people versus being scared or uncomfortable about it.

Speaking from my personal experience at GU, as a young black woman in college, everywhere I go is predominantly white. I walk into classrooms and I am the only black person in the room. 

Is it intimidating at times? Yes, it is. Nobody in this classroom looks like me or shares the same experiences as me. It is important for every student to see a little bit of themselves in the classroom through their professor.

GU should be brave enough to make an effort to hire faculty members of color to teach students in various subjects. The school should also be encouraging  students  to make real connections among people from different backgrounds. Exposing students to diverse experiences can make a positive impact on their development, as well as the collective GU community.

 

Alaysia Lane is a staff writer.

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