Cultural Diversity Essay: Campus Climates and Classroom Instruction
American Society has been and continues to become increasingly mixed, complex, and variegated in its cultural practices and ethnic make up. However, the state schools have fallen short of race goals established thirty-one years ago in a desegregation case now known as Geier v. Sundquist. The University of Tennessee at Knoxville has notoriously had one of the worst recruiting efforts for diversifying undergraduates. This realization makes the cultural atmosphere at Knoxville non-diversified resulting in a predominantly white campus.
Despite recent statistics from 1993-1994, African Americans’ enrollment is about 5 percent of the student body, and only 4 percent of the faculty. Moreover, American Indian, Hispanic, and Asian Americans now comprise about 5 percent of the enrollment, and international student enrollment have also maintained a fair 4 percent. The University of Tennessee at Knoxville should recognize the dynamic interaction of communities and cultures that comprise contemporary America, as well as the world. Reflecting on this interaction, the university should change its curriculum and campus environment because campus climates ultimately influence the effectiveness of a diverse democracy and, therefore builds a mutually respectfully community.
There could be reasonable objections to diversifying the campus here at UT, but the major philosophy is to expand our knowledge of other cultures and to explore opportunities that will benefit the students when identifying with other ethnic backgrounds. In part, one concern that could arise is the cost of such implementations for diversifying the campus.
The recruiting efforts would generally cost money and the research would take time to acquire. In addition to monetary issues, there could be insinuations concerning quotas or even affirmation action for allowing a preference to
one race or gender for the sake of diversity. Restructuring and developing cost reductive techniques and applying certain guidelines for diversity on campus so that the idea of a quota or misuse of affirmative action would be abolished would generally eliminate these objections.
In my case, I would be elated to be able to explore other backgrounds and broaden my general conception of cultures different from my own. In this society, we as a nation are continually becoming more diverse and variegated in our practices that it would be necessary to expand our knowledge and appreciate other cultures. On another note, the University of Tennessee at Knoxville is one of the largest universities in the South and for it to be, as large as it is one would expect more diversity.
Chancellor Snyder states in his mission statement, “Diversity has become a necessity for the reason we are encompassing a multiracial and multicultural community that relics on the potential of each person to meet society’s expectations. And society’s expectations are culturally diverse and we need to value other’s background for we will be working with different backgrounds throughout our lifetime.” Lets make diversity a reality on campus at UTK. .