UNCW trying to increase diversity

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.

Categories: New Hanover

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