Students can help encourage campus diversity

Kristine Totanes, Contributing Writer

The following is an opinion article and opinion articles do not reflect the views of The Tulane Hullabaloo.

With Tulane’s 13-place jump in this year’s edition of the U.S. News and World Report college rankings, we see that the university is on the upswing, continuing to receive the recognition it deserves. But even with the many strides the school has made over the past several years, such as improving retention and graduation rates, there are still important areas that the school needs to improve on. One such issue is diversity.

Tulane University is one of the most geographically diverse institutions in the United States, with students hailing from all over the United States and the world, but there still is a notable lack in cultural, socioeconomic, religious, racial and ethnic diversity on the campus. In a city with a population that is 60.2 percent black, only 24 percent of the student body is non-white.

The good news, however, is that this year the school saw a larger number of international students in a freshman class. According to International Director of Admission Jeff Schiffman in his admissions blog, there were 60 international students in this year’s freshman class, more than doubling the number from last year.

This means Tulane is growing, but there still is much room for improvement. The school needs to continue reaching out to a wide array of prospective students, anywhere from the local community in New Orleans to the rest of the country and the rest of the world.

Students also must continue to be open-minded and accepting of all other students on campus, as well as strive to bring more cultural awareness and understanding to the school. An entertaining way to accomplish this is to join or create organizations and clubs that promote cultural openness. Some on-campus organizations sponsored by the Office of Multicultural Affairs include the Indian Association of Tulane University, the Asian American Student Union, the Tulane Black Student Union and the Queer Student Alliance.

There is plenty of room for improvement in the area of diversity, but it is also clear that we have come a long way. If we continue down this path, we will help make the Tulane experience a much more worldly and enriching one for all students.