UC San Diego was recently attacked with media coverage due to racist activities over the past few weeks. Among these was the “Compton Cookout,” in which students were encouraged to dress “ghetto” and speak loudly, and a KKK hood was placed on the Dr. Seuss statue outside of the library.
This event is a horrible affront to the African-American community at UCSD, which accounts for 2 percent of the total population there, according to a 2009 statistic on the school’s Web site. Such a horrifying display also speaks loudly to the fact that minority students on many college campuses are seriously lacking support structures.
University of La Verne boasts a very high percentage of minority students, with 63 percent identifying themselves as African American, Asian American, Native American, and/or Latino, according to a 2008 newsletter from the now-defunct Mosaic Center.
Although ULV offers clubs that support various minority groups, such as the Brother’s Forum, the Latino Student Alliance and the United Hermanos, the school lacks a structured, University-supported diversity center.
In 2008 the Mosaic Center, which helped to establish cultural programs and was a liaison between the University and its minority students, closed, leaving students without the support and voice they needed. The Mosaic Center provided students with support for graduate school, information on academics and career services, in addition to a place where minority students could associate with one another and find tools to become successful at ULV.
Minority students need this kind of support. Especially because the faculty at ULV does not present such high diversity as the student population. These students are not seeing people they relate to in places of power, therefore are not given role models to look to for support and encouragement.
At a time when racist activities are breaking out at other schools, ULV should be boosting its multicultural funding and provide support for the underrepresented majority of the school.
This would not only boost the morale and confidence of minority students, but also send a message to the rest of the nation that ULV supports diversity and its students’ education, which could boost enrollment and donors to the institution.