U must strive for further diversity

Daily Editorial Board

Exactly one year ago today, activists demanding accountability for University of Minnesota diversity initiatives occupied Morrill Hall. Protestors called for an end to racial disparities on campus, particularly in regards to funding for the Department of Chicano and Latino studies and in the racial descriptions of suspects in crime reports.
 
 
One year later, the University’s efforts to create a more diverse campus climate are still falling short. 
 
 
Although the school has formed a Race, Indigeneity, Gender and Sexualities Studies Initiative (RIGS) to hire more diverse faculty, administrators have also acknowledged that solely hiring more faculty of color through RIGS won’t completely solve all the University’s diversity issues. 
 
 
Meanwhile, some students of color have expressed reluctance to speak out about their concerns, doubting anyone will hear their voices. Clearly, there is a disconnect between University initiatives and the reality these students experience.
 
 
To remedy racial disparities, the administration needs to devote appropriate funding to creating a well-publicized and inclusive diversity plan. This plan should include measures to actively seek out the diverse voices that do exist on campus, such as through student roundtables and forums. 
 
 
The University should then devote funding to develop strategies that will address the concerns students raise. Additionally, the school should make conscious efforts to recruit students from Minnesota’s communities of color. Most importantly, diversity needs to be a clear priority in all campus proceedings, not an idea that only protests and demonstrations bring to light.