Butler must add diversity

On Jan. 19, Tavis Smiley and Cornel West gave a speech at Clowes  Memorial Hall about the dangers of income inequality.
“[I]t shows our dedication to diversifying our university,” President Jim Danko said of the event. The speakers showed the nation that Butler is a university that strives for diversity.
I, for one, am very hopeful about the steps the administration is taking with regard to this goal.
Tuition is rising across the nation, and Butler is no exception.
It would be marvelous to see the administration work to make sure that this looming socioeconomic barrier is broken.
Economic class is one area of diversity that is threatened in most higher education these days.
In a city that is 25 percent African-American and 10 percent Hispanic, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, I am very interested to hear how Butler plans to encourage racial diversity in the student body.
The Collegian reported last year in “Being Black at Butler”, Feb. 2012, that less than 4 percent of Butler students identify as African-American.
This university’s commitment to diversity should be celebrated in the same ways that Smiley and West talked about their own cause.
The community should commend Butler’s goals—and expect results.
Diversity cannot magically be increased, of course.
The university can demonstrate its programs and efforts to the community.
Demanding solutions does not require people to offer their own,  West said.
The administration has tons of resources at its fingertips.
If diversity is truly a priority, the administration should reach out to brilliant thinkers in this country to help make that priority a reality.
Danko is already undertaking the first steps toward this.
The administration has put together a commission to investigate issues and policies that can help make Butler less monochromatic.
The day the goal of diversification comes true at Butler will be truly beautiful.
So here’s to hoping this initiative has more than symbolic meaning.
Let us all make efforts to keep our goals grounded in real progress and not merely in statements and promises.

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