OPINION | Not enough representation for POC on campus

It’s important for college campuses to have diversity among their students. Yara Al-Badri says DSU should do more to represent people of color and educate others about racial injustices. Graphic by Emily Wight.

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Representation for people of color on Dixie State University’s campus is heavily lacking.

According to St. George Utah Population, 87.96% of St. George residents are white. Due to St. George being predominantly white, students of color are not widely represented on campus.

Students of color not being represented well through their schools can cause a feeling of isolation. As a student of color myself, I have felt very isolated from my peers due to the differences in our lives culturally.

An article by the The Daily Universe stated: “African American students make up less than one percent of BYU students. Jackson and other African American students expressed feeling like outsiders because their race differs from the majority at BYU.”

Students statewide are expieriencing the same sort of isolation; this expierience isnt exclusive to DSU.

The conversation of diversity on campus has been brought up, but students of color are not being heard. Everyone has the right to their political freedoms, but oftentimes I find myself sitting in silence to ensure my safety in order to not set off another student because of my views. It’s become tiring educating my professors and peers about the racial injustices they will never have to face. 

“Diversity on college campuses enhances the educational experiences of students of all backgrounds,” the The Center for American Progress stated. “Evidence gathered by the Century Foundation suggests that racially integrated classrooms can reduce students’ racial bias, improve satisfaction and intellectual self-confidence, and enhance leadership skills.”

Minorities cover more than half of Utah. It’s time for a small town like St. George to open up to learn from them. DSU has the opportunity to learn from its multicultural students, allowing more culture to flow into academics.

“Let’s create truly inclusive, culturally competent experiences so that our students can stay, can feel a sense of belonging, they can leave with the degree they came for and ultimately reflect positively on their higher education experience,” The Deseret News article stated.

We don’t live in a post-racialism society and it’s time for DSU to really put in the effort to educate professors and students about the trials and tribulations minorities face. There is no chance for students of color if our education system isn’t making the effort to get educated themselves.

Change comes from listening, educators and staff. DSU can be doing more to showcase all the unique cultures that walk its campus by having a louder voice. Embracing culture is beautiful when done respectfully. Students being able to experience a culture differing from theirs would help eliminate the isolation students of color feel.