Diversity at Millikin

Nicole Johnson, Views Editor

Millikin University has a commitment to diversity. According to their website, their goal is “to create a campus atmosphere and learning community that values and embraces diversity.” Has Millikin met this goal?

There’s no doubt that Millikin is diverse. We have a variety of identities on campus, such as racial identity, sexual identity or religious identity, to name a few. Through all of these identities, Millikin is diverse. I feel that’s obvious based on looking around the campus or at the promotional material that Millikin hands out to encourage people to attend Millikin.

According to this same area of the website, diversity is to be integrated into curriculums, the Vice President of Academic Affairs is to work with the Council on Curriculum to work on pedagogical strategies to retain diverse students and Student Development is in charge of developing programs that promote campus diversity. These are just a few of the sub-goals to work towards the main goal.

I’m not sure how we’re doing with some of these sub-goals. Part of this unsureness is because I can’t assess certain areas, such as how much diversity is being integrated into curriculums across campus. The rest of the unsureness is because I don’t think we are meeting them.

I’m not positive what our numbers for retaining students are, though last I heard, they were low, meaning we’re losing people. Based on our incoming classes, we’re not bringing in a lot of students, either. I’m sure we’ll probably spring back in a couple of years, but for the time being, it’s not doing so great.

Obviously, with not retaining students and not bringing a lot of students in, diversity may start to look pretty poor. The reasons why students may be leaving or choosing not to come here could be varied. Maybe they don’t like the education here. Perhaps they have had a bad experience. Millikin could cost too much for them. But what if it’s because diversity isn’t celebrated much here?

We do have our celebrations here, such as Black History Month or Women’s History Month. We’ve recently added a few, such as Native American History Month that just happened. But do we celebrate people from different economic backgrounds? Do we celebrate people with disabilities?

We don’t, and I think something could be done about that.

There is so much more that could be celebrated here. If we’re as diverse as we claim, we should be celebrating all diverse backgrounds, not just a select few.

We’re different pieces of the Millikin puzzle, and the diversity of everyone deserves to be celebrated.