BY KAYDEE JONES
Diversity, or rather lack of it, on Salisbury University’s campus has been a widely talked about topic at the institution as of late, especially following the Salisbury Student Committee’s Minority Report that was held earlier this month.
About 27 percent of undergraduate and graduate students at SU are from minority race or ethnicity categories as of Dec. 2015, according to a fact sheet from the Office of Institutional Equity.
But between 2005 and 2015, minority student growth in undergraduate enrollment has grown 103.1 percent and minority student growth in graduate enrollment has grown about 90 percent in the same time frame, according to a fact sheet from the Office of Institutional Equity.
The numbers show a diversity increase, but the question to ask is whether students actually see or feel it. The Minority Report is an example of students coming together to discuss diversity concerns.
Natalie Herrera, a sophomore and English secondary education major, is the Student Government Association’s Vice President of Diversity. She was present at the Minority Report, and that the SGA was under a lot of fire at the meeting.
“We went to the Minority Report and there was a lot of bashing the SGA and saying we don’t do anything,” she said. “[Stop Hatin Week] is a way to try and bridge the gap.”
Herrera said she recognizes the stigma that diversity is lacking at SU, and so it was a good time to host the annual Stop Hatin’ Week on April 4-8.
Stop Hatin’ Week includes events based around diversity, acceptance and inclusion put on by the SGA’s diversity committee. Herrera emphasized acceptance of others as a main theme of the event as it’s easy for students to form cliques and become non-inclusive.
“The point of the week is to be accepting of others, to love each other and stop the hate,” Herrera said. “It’s something that I can definitely tell is a problem here on campus.”
She also highlighted that diversity is about inclusiveness, and also is not centered around race as it includes socioeconomic status, sexual orientation, gender and religion. Herrera said that she is optimistic about the week and hopes it can bring the campus together.
“There are common things you hear about diversity that aren’t true, so we’re trying to clear that up,” she said.