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Attracting minorities important goal for BU

Feb. 16, 2001

Out of 13,716 students enrolled at Baylor, 750 are Black, 876 are Asian or Pacific Islander and 967 are Hispanic. All these figures are well below the state percentages. As part of Baylor's 10-year vision, the school should make it a goal to make the campus more multicultural and inviting to minority students.

Making the campus more diverse will obviously be beneficial to all students -- white, black, Asian and Hispanic alike. From classes to organizations and activities, increasing the ethnic diversity of the student body enriches our experiences by allowing all students to learn about the differences and similarities between cultures. Whether aggressively recruiting more in minority communities, or offering more minority scholarships, Baylor should try to make the school more ethnically diverse over the next 10 years. But before the school can increase minority enrollment, it must first make Baylor a school that is inviting to minorities.

Simple things, such as having more pictures of minority leaders and historical figures on the walls in campus buildings and getting more involved in minority organization events at Baylor, to larger moves, such as developing more minority-focused programs, activities and events on campus, would be good ways to make minorities feel more valued.

Baylor should also develop an African Studies major to go along with the Asian Studies and Latin American Studies majors that are currently offered. Baylor professors should incorporate more literature written by minority authors and assign books that cover minorities and various minority cultures and issues too. Recognizing Martin Luther King Jr. Day as a holiday for Baylor students was a good start. But taking a more active role in the holiday and related activities and taking steps to get the entire Baylor community involved should be a long-term goal.

Emphasizing and exposing students to non-Christian religious traditions should also be a priority. The creation of the Jewish Studies program was a good move, but Baylor should follow up by striving to make Chapel a more diverse religious forum.

All these recommendations will help to make Baylor a more multicultural campus over the next 10 years. It should make Baylor a more inviting school to minority students, as well as administrators and professors. Having a student body and an administration that is ethically diverse will create an overall better learning experience for everyone at Baylor.