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UNCW trying to increase diversity

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Some local experts believe that UNCW is not diverse enough, and that has caused concern among school leaders, who want to see things change. In an effort to improve diversity on campus, UNCW has hired a new provost. Ask any student at UNCW what the school colors are and they will tell you, "teal and gold." They are not hard to miss. But, it is colorful people who you may not notice.. UNCW junior Rebecca Harmer said, "Some people joke about UNCW being primarily a white campus." Kanalyn Jackson, a UNCW senior, said, "A lot of times if you are a minority you are the only one in your class, and if you're walking on Chancellor's Walk you may not see people that look like you." In the 2007-2008 school year, 85 percent of UNCW students were white. Fifteen percent were minority -- Black, Native American, Hispanic, or Asian. Jackson and her friend Harmer like to hang out at the Upperman Center -- a place for anyone to come and get involved in multi-cultural programs. Diversity Provost Jose Hernandez said, "That's one of the reasons I'm here is to continue to lead UNCW's efforts to increase diversity in the student body." Hernandez is two weeks into his new position as diversity provost. His new role will focus on increasing minority enrollment and enhancing programs currently in place at the school, as well as creating new ones. "Diversity is not just about the numbers, it's also that all students are exposed to cultural differences. That's a part of the academic part of diversity," said Hernandez. Good news for Kanalyn and her friends who want to see more diversity on campus. Hernandez said by next year he wants to bring a diversity symposium to UNCW -- a full-day event celebrating different cultures.

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The Downside of Diversity

A] massive new study, based on detailed interviews of nearly 30,000 people across America...has found that the greater the diversity in a community, the fewer people vote and the less they volunteer, the less they give to charity and work on community projects. In the most diverse communities, neighbors trust one another about half as much as they do in the most homogenous settings. The study, the largest ever on civic engagement in America, found that virtually all measures of civic health are lower in more diverse settings.... His findings on the downsides of diversity have also posed a challenge for Putnam, a liberal academic whose own values put him squarely in the pro-diversity camp. Suddenly finding himself the bearer of bad news, Putnam has struggled with how to present his work. He gathered the initial raw data in 2000 and issued a press release the following year outlining the results. He then spent several years testing other possible explanations.... In his findings, Putnam writes that those in more diverse communities tend to "distrust their neighbors, regardless of the color of their skin, to withdraw even from close friends, to expect the worst from their community and its leaders, to volunteer less, give less to charity and work on community projects less often, to register to vote less, to agitate for social reform more but have less faith that they can actually make a difference, and to huddle unhappily in front of the television." "People living in ethnically diverse settings appear to 'hunker down' -- that is, to pull in like a turtle," Putnam writes.... "Diversity, at least in the short run," he writes, "seems to bring out the turtle in all of us." Full article here: http://www.boston.com/news/globe/ideas/articles/2007/08/05/the_downside_... Worth reading, since nobody bothered to offer any insight into why diversity is do great.

'Round and round we go........

First of all to denise2000, I apologize if you felt that my comments were insulting. That was not my intention. I was attacking the viewpoint, not you as a person. I would still like to know what is the cause of this sudden push for "diversity" at UNCW. If you go to their website, you'll see "diversity" on every page. You'll also see special links for Hispanic students, Black students, Gay students etc. It seems to me by pointing out all this diversity, you are really just serving the drive an even bigger wedge between people. By constantly harping on all this diversity, they are actually moving further and further away from the Utopian "we are all the same" fantasy they seem to be chasing. So I ask again: who are the "local experts" that demanded this diversity? Why do they have so much sway over the administration of UNCW? Who is Jose Fernandez? What qualifies him to slip into a cush job at a major University? What does he do for 40 hours a week? Who is paying for this? What kind of kickback does UNCW get for going along with this? What exactly is preventing minorities from enrolling in UNCW? Why does it matter? Shouldn't people be allowed to associate with whomever they want? Was there some event that triggered this "diversity" drive? Who does "diversity" benefit? What tangible evidence is there to suggest that "diversity" enhances the learning experience? Isn't the job of college to educate people in their field of study? Shouldn't people be allowed to form their own opinions? I could sit here and ask questions all day. I would stop as soon as someone could actually provide me with some answers. Unfortunately, this is not the way it works. When someone assumes the position of doing what is in "the best interest of society", anyone who dares to criticize or question the actual mechanics of that position is usually branded as a bad person, a racist, a bigot, a heretic, or any other insulting name you can think of. No answers are provided, just a lot of "holier than thou" platitudes and judgments of ones intelligence and character. There is an old con that involves starting an organization or program to fight against a problem that has no solution. As long as the problem exists, the organization exists. As long as the organization exists, money will be needed. Since the problem will not be going away anytime soon, the organization will exist until the money runs out. Sometimes the leaders of these organizations will deliberately aggravate the problem. Why? That way they can justify their existence, and in turn dupe people into giving them even more money to fight a problem with no solution. I can name a few such institutions that perpetrate this con, but I will hold my tongue. No need to hurt any more feelings than necessary. I'm not trying to say that that is what is going on here. It might be, it might not. I merely want answers. Answers to questions that,as a taxpayer and a student, I feel qualified to ask.

Money

You have made a lot of sense with your statement. Usually if you investigate a little bit, you find that the only reason for a lot of these programs is to provide someone with a cushy job and a six figure income.

I'm pretty sure there are

I'm pretty sure there are open forums free for all students to attend whenever a new provost is hired. I know I've attended a few. You seem to have so many questions, but did you even bother to inquire about the new provost's session? Instead of trashing every e-mail or invitation you get from UNCW's listserv, try reading them for a change. Actually, how much do you even know about the diversity department on campus? I mean nearly every campus has one, it's not something unique to UNCW. The 'push' for diversity isn't just some sudden development. You have so many questions, if you actually care to know... inquire. This isn't something you can just google. Leave your dorm room walk over to Chancellor's office, ask questions. You pay the money to go here, you're entitled to know what's going on. Geez.

Settle down.

Obviously you don't have any answers either.

simple respect

I have a right to voice my opinions without being personally attacked or insulted. I think constructive debate is helpful, and it is always important to look at the issue from both sides, respectfully and thoughtfully. I believe that I am a person who has never intentionally been racist, and I know that there are millions of great teachers out there who work very hard for all of their students and would never even think of discriminating based on race. But, the simple fact that many people of color can go through their entire public school life without coming into contact with a single teacher who belongs to the same race as them can result in a feeling of dicouragement. I wouldn't call this discrimination, either. It is just a simple fact that non-white people have to deal with. Have I ever had to deal with that situation? No. I have never felt like I can't accomplish something simply because of the color of my skin...I struggled to go to college because of economic reasons, but that is another, albeit important, issue. Of course I don't "beat myself up" for being white. That is ridiculous. But that also means that we should not "beat other people up" for being who they are. And, unlike other people, I do feel like I need to contribute to society and help those that I can help and not just think of myself. By the way, I am NOT Democrat or Republican, and I am not speaking from a platform. This is from my heart which I think should be respected out of simple humanity.

Thanks

It is so refreshing to see an open, educated, common sense response to this thread. God Bless.

Colorblind is far better than "diverse"

"Race is a Nineteenth Century social construct that we're using in the Twenty-first Century for purposes of public policy, and we need to get out of that mode." - Ward Connerly

Comedy at UNC Wonderful

This is funny...I can't wait to read what Dr. Adams might have to say about this little soiree

What?

I made a comment earlier that never appeared for some reason. Anyhow, I want to know who are these experts that said UNCW needed a Diversity provost? And who are the school leaders that agreed with them? This all sounds really suspicious. I get the feeling that someone is trying to pull a fast one on UNCW and the taxpayers.

What is so funny about this

What is so funny about this report is the fact that there are "Black Colleges" all over this country, where the population is primarily if not totally black. Is anyone trying to change this? When someone applies to college, they do it based on several different aspects. Some apply to colleges that have prestigious reputations. Some apply to colleges because their friends or boyfreind/girlfriend has applied to the same school. This station interviewed several students when they were coming back, and the proximity to the beach was a big draw. Some schools are more specialized in their curriculum and some offer more opportunities for financial assistance. Some students just want to stick close to home, and so they apply locally. If UNCW has specific programs that would attract minorities to the school, then they would be worth advertising. I just don't think it is a big enough issue to assign someone to a paid position to attract minorities to the school. Perhaps there is some sort of Federal Money to be paid to schools based on their minority populations that no one is telling us about?

RE: What is so funny about this

Do your homework Johnny. The HBCUs are also exploring ways and implementing their own initiatives to bring diversity to the schools. I'm a graduate of a HBCU and there was a small percentage of diversity during that time. Now, my alma mater among others are exploring ways to increase diversity the same as UNCW and many other universities across the country. UNCW is not doing anything unique in trying bring more diversity to the school.

It's funny you should

It's funny you should mention HBCUs in all this. But why do they even exists? Is it really even fair to compare such schools to predominately white institutions? Typically, if you don't feel welcome, or aren't welcomed, at a particular school you go elsewhere. HBCU's are a response to years and years of rejection. It's a diversity issue that's been ignored for several years and persists even until today.

Respect for UNCW

Diversity is not just the racial make-up of the students around us. UNCW states that diversity includes race, sex, age, color, national origin, creed, religion, disability, sexual orientation, political affiliation, veteran’s status, and gender (just to name a few). As a UNCW student myself I find that our University is overwhelmingly diverse, and others would attest once you have participated in our community. Take a stroll through our residence halls and meet roommates that started as strangers and have slowly introduced each other to a new religion or have given the other a new understanding of their sexual orientation. I find that this University, over the years, has made tremendous strides towards "Diversity Goals". Provost Hernandez will bring a new perspective to our community, and hopefully open the eys to some of those out there that feel we do too little. If more students would educate themselfs on the efforts around them and participate in the multi-cultural events they would see that UNCW has and will continue to support all students, prospective or current.

Here is something to

Here is something to consider....how many minorities are actually applying to uncw every year? you can't force people to apply for college. In my high school class, only about ten percent of the minorities even applied to college anywhere. Sad statistics. And consider this....research shows that the american population, believe it or not, is about 70 to 75 percent caucasion. Therefore it seems the school is pretty close to a realistic representation of the entire nation. Personally, I think this guy is using the fact thaty he is a minority and my tax dollars to get a position of importance that is not needed or deserved.

already diverse

I agree completely. I am a student at UNCW and I have observed that there is probably more diversity here already than there is at many other universities. Diversity is about more than just skin color. There are a ton of international students here from other countries. The counted the Asians, but what about the Russians, Germans, Dutch, etc...They're not American, so obviously they're diverse. Some of my best friends are students here from other countries. My point is...UNCW already has plenty of diversity!

Diversity is Prejudiced

The college needs more diversity, why. Why is because you have a college President who is so liberal and far off that she worries more about how many minorities enroll than taking care of those already enrolled. From talking to staff at UNC-W they tell me that unless you are a minority you can forget getting a job on campus. They only want minority employees which of course means they are discriminating againist caucasians whom are better qualified and have better credentials. Staff are made to attend diversity training. Personally I am tired of this diversity liberal thinking. The enrollment process is already leaning toward minorities. Minorities do not have to go through the same hoops that whites do to enroll. When colleges start to actually teach students and quit worrying about liberal content we might have some education worth discussing. Until the liberals leave the University system you will have permanent discrimination againist whites just based on their color, exactly what they are trying to prevent with present minorities. UNC-W needs to Educate and leave politics to the Governor. Oh cannot do that, I almost forgot the Governor's wife received a $80,000 dollar raise at NC State, another state supported school.

UNCW Diversity

Aw Jose, you merely changed the name "qouta system" to Diversity. How civil of you. What percent of America is non-white?

Is UNCW discriminating against minorities?

No? Then why is there a NEED to increase diversity? In the absence of discrimination or requirements that diminish the abilities of minorities to attend, what "needs to be fixed?" Diversity is wonderful when it occurs naturally. Forced diversity simply for the sake of saying, "Look how diverse we are! Aren't we special!" accomplishes very little and often leads to resentment and hurt feelings. Could it be that most Blacks and Latinos don't really care to attend UNCW? Are we equally concerned about a lack of diversity at NCCU and FSU? (People generally gravitate to where they are comfortable - why try to force them to change?)

There are so many things

There are so many things that are somewhat questionable about this program that I don't really know where to begin. The best place to start is probably with the first ones that come to mind: What qualifies one to be a "diversity" provost? What sort of educational background must one possess to qualify for such a position? How much money can one expect to make if hired for the position? How many hours of the week is one needed for their "diversity" duties? 10? 20? 40 or more? Just what does a diversity provost do all day? These are just a few that immediately come to mind. As someone who has found that tuition costs are rising much faster than my personal income, I feel that I am justified in questioning this program and this position. I'd really be curious to know where the funding is coming from. From my tuition? The taxpayers? I'm sure if any of them were asked, they would raise similar questions. Maybe the bigger issue is that it's not clear as to why UNCW is not diverse enough. Has the school finally found the cause? This needs to be addressed, otherwise the program has the potential to become a nebulous money pit that will leave tuition payers feeling burnt. I would like to know how this program is going to succeed where all of the other minority-only scholarships, grants, incentives, government programs, and lowered entrance standards have failed. Ultimately, though, most of these programs merely create more tension and hostility by giving preferential treatment to people based on race. Unfair, no matter which race is getting the special treatment. If it is about economics, and minorities are unable to attend UNCW due to financial strain, than perhaps it is time to start cutting some of the overhead. I know of a good place they could start. In the meantime, people of all races should concentrate on getting into college the old-fashioned way: through hard work and good grades.

the inherent value

Dear anon67575, I enjoyed reading your posting. I think you expressed some thoughtful questions that I have asked myself at one point or another. I would like to simply point out that one sentence in your posting seems to, at least partially, answer some of your other concerns. You stated that special treatment is unfair no matter what race is receiving the benefits. Then, as a white person, I must admit that society has been favoring me unfairly for a long time. I know for a lot of working class white people it doesn't seem like we are getting special treatment. I have had to work very hard for everything I have and will have to work until the day I die. That doesn't seem like anyone is doing me any favors. But, at the same time, I know that when I meet someone, i.e. at a job interview, the color of my skin is not the first thing that pops into their head. Same thing goes for a person who speaks with an accent. I am white, and I will never know what it is like to live in society as a non-white person, but I have talked enough to people, read enough on the topic and seen enough of some human behavior to know that the world is different for non-whites. You mentioned the "old-fashioned way" which is hard work and good grades. I don't think the Diversity program at UNCW is looking to "favor" students who have not already demonstrated their willingness to work hard and get good grades; not that they don't want to help struggling students be more motivated. The idea is to help students who are doing everything they are supposed to do but who still, for whatever reasons a white person may not understand, don't get into college. The reason may be as simple as the fact that they need someone to tell them that they are worthy and have just as much right to the best education as anyone else AND that they can do it. One last point. It is still a sad fact that our public education system unfairly discriminates against minorities. It may not seem like it from a white person's point of view, but the statistics show that it is a fact. Until more progress is made to even out the playing field in our public schools, initiatives like this will be necessary, and, personally, I would much rather spend my time and money keeping all kids in school than keeping them in jail.

diversity

"A willingness to work hard" is not the same thing as achieving results. My landscaper can show a "willingness to work hard" all he wants, but he will never be smart enough to go to medical, no matter how much he wishes it was different. Liberals are living in a fantasy land. Foreign-owned companies are smart enough to realize that Bachelor Degrees in the US aren't worth the paper they are printed on unless they limit their student bodies to people who are smart enough to achieve.

First of all, I would like

First of all, I would like to to say that I am white and i don't owe anything to anyone because of the color of my skin. Diversity is something that should be taught at home, not school of any kind. It is not reading or math. It is a value and it should be taught by the parents. However universities are using their positions to shove their libertalist thinking down everyone's throats and they are calling it "well-roundedness." I believe them about as much as I believe Barack Obama, which is about as far as I can throw him. Now for the statement about schools discriminating against minorities. How? By making them earn the grades they receive? That is the most assinine statement I have ever heard. If anything our public schools cater to minorities by making our children learn spanish even though maybe one child out of 30 speaks it fluently. They try to teach our kids to be "well-rounded" instead of teaching them math and science. No wonder we are falling so far behind the rest of the world. We are a joke right now.Tell you what, why don't you give extra money out of your paycheck every week to make it easier for minorities. As for me and my family, we like to eat.

RE: INHERENT VALUE

Denise 2000 the messages posted in response to your comment is concrete proof. They don't know and they don't care to know. I can assure you of one thing - they would never switch sides whether its 1958 or 2008.

Hang onto that "victim" mindset

It will really come in handy to excuse all YOUR individual failures.

RE: Hang on to "victim" mindset

VICTIM, I AM NOT - NOR HAVE I EVER BEEN. I WASN'T RAISED WITH THAT MINDSET. I HAVE TWO COLLEGE DEGREES, BUT MORE IMPORTANTLY, I'M HEALTHY! WHAT I APPRECIATE IS THE FREQUENT RESPONSE THAT THE VICTIM ROLE IS ALWAYS PRESENT AND FOLKS SHOULD JUST GET OVER IT. ON THE OTHER HAND THE PROBABILITY THAT THERE IS SOME TRUTH IN IT IS COMPLETELY IGNORED. I GUESS THAT WOULD MEAN YOU HAVE THE DENIAL MINDSET.

Wow! How much Kool-Aid did YOU drink?

You bought that old nonsense hook, line, and sinker, didn't you? Do you whip yourself every night for being White? Buy a clue, young lady - your argument was valid fifty years ago. Now, it's as out-of-date as last month's milk. Minority enrollment does not track minority population because there is a higher percentage of Blacks and Latinos living in poverty than Whites. They simply can't afford college. You will note that Asians, the vast majority of whom do not live in poverty, are represented at percentages equal to or even greater than Whites in most urban and ivy-league colleges. THAT is life. You can't change it. You can't "even out the playing field." (But congratulations on hitting nerly every looney-liberal buzzword!) As family income increases, there is a higher liklihood that a son or daughter will go to college. Half the country needs a cold shower because of Barak Obama. We have a Black Secretary of State....who replaced a Black Secretary of State. We have a Black Associate Justice on the Supreme Court. We have more Black engineers, architects, doctors and lawyers than ever in our history. So much for the "great disadvantages" minorities face. Please update your material; this isn't 1958.

Ignorance

I am a white female at UNCW. My name is Rebecca Harmer and I was one of the students interviewed for this story and I would like you to know that your ignorance became more and more apparent with each sentence of yours that I read. Here's some advice: before you go spreading your opinions around without any facts to back them up perhaps you should do the necessary empirical research and assess the validity of your statements next time. However, at this point it is far too late to mask your ignorance on this issue, so I recommend that you enlighten yourself and read Jonathan Kozol's (a white male) book entitled "The Shame of the Nation: The Restoration of Apartheid Schooling in America" before you next open your mouth without evidence to back up your opinion.

I've read that book. It has

I've read that book. It has more to do with economic struggles than racial. Perhaps you should reread it instead of just the cliff notes.

Becki......

First of all, I noticed that you chose to hurl insults about someones intelligence around instead of actually addressing any of the questions that were raised. It is generally accepted that resorting to insults is a sign that you have lost an argument. What concrete evidence are YOU able to provide that will demonstrate the benefits of diversity? And don't tell people to go read some book, either. If it is so obvious, you should have no problem shedding some light on the situation. If people are to be expected to subsidize these types of programs, I think there should be some demonstration as to why it is needed. Not opinions, just facts. And please, cool it with the insults. I don't think that anyone here has said anything that wasn't civil, on either side of this issue.