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Diversity focus: public, private schools assess enrollment

Colleges nationwide are seeking to increase enrollment of minority populations through any legal means, according to an article by The New York Times.

Any measure on the part of colleges to enroll students based on race falls under the category of affirmative action. Support for affirmative action is divided, as reported by a 2005 Gallup poll that found only about 50 percent of the population backed it. The report also mentioned that support for affirmative action is stronger among African American and Hispanic populations, whereas non-Hispanic whites and Asian-Americans are more likely to oppose it.

A 2003 decision by the United States Supreme Court set the current national standard, which prohibits public universities from admitting students based on criteria in favor of minority ethnicities.

The Sojourn reported in October that Indiana Wesleyan University’s campus has, in the past four years, seen a 79 percent increase in students who identify themselves with a minority ethnic population.

Jamie Daniel (jr), the diversity coordinator in Martin Hall, said the Intercultural Student Services Office hosts booths on admissions days and multicultural days. Other than that, the ISS office doesn’t have too many events designed around recruiting or admissions. Daniel said she believes that could change but isn’t the current vision of IWU’s diversity office.

“Our goal isn’t to affect admissions directly but to make this a place where students of diversity would come and be understood,” said Daniel.

ISS recently hosted “Breaking Down Walls,” an event designed to help students move past stereotyping into understanding. On April 13, the office will be sponsoring “DiversiTEA” to show how different things can originate from the same source.

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