The importance of diversity at Wayne State College

Staff writer Tarik Urvina explains how diversity can enhance learning

Tarik Urvina, Staff Writer

The Wayne State College campus homes a large group of students from different ethnicities and cultures. Students from the Midwest as well as other parts of the country and the world chose Wayne State College to continue their education. It is important for the school to embrace diversity because it means the Campus is viewed as a welcoming environment for anyone who wants to apply.

Diversity on campus promotes creative thinking, prepares students for future career success and expands worldliness. Students can certainly learn from people of the opposite sex, different ethnicities and belief systems. College might be the first time students are exposed to and interact with certain cultural groups.

“Having Students from different cultures and backgrounds enriches the learning environment,” Brian Hanson, assistant professor of the History, Politics & Geography Department said. “People typically develop greater tolerance of other groups when they meet people from other groups, and tolerance is an important ingredient in a healthy democracy, as it fosters greater support for democratic values.”

About eighty-five percent of the enrolled students are from Nebraska. The other fifteen percent are from the immediate areas including Iowa, South Dakota and Minnesota. Twenty six other states and twenty two other countries are also represented at the college campus.

“When I think about diversity I just don’t think about ethnicity,” Kevin Halle director of admissions said. “I also think about someone coming from a different state with an entirely different background bringing their ideas and experiences to us. It benefits us in particular because we are a smaller community and so we can connect easy to one and other.”

WSC is an open institution. It recruits and visits with everyone about the opportunity of higher education. The access is open for students from which ever population and is willing to meet the students to talk about the opportunity. The overall diversity at Wayne State has increased and the school has seen a variety of populations grow.

“We know through some planning that we have been doing for the future, the largest demographic to grow is that of our Hispanic population that’s projected to see significant growth moving forward,” Halle said. “Certainly again we open and welcome to all ethnicities but that’s the one that I can probably point too as recent.”

It is important to have diversity in the student population, but those are mainly seen as temporary residents. The importance of diversity along faculty members is also something to recognize because the faculty members have the ability to shape the culture of the campus.

“That’s of importance to us as in the administration and general faculty definitely wants to see themselves as a diverse population as well,” Halle said.

The school is trying to create a campus environment that is increasingly diverse but might find difficulties along the way.

“I think they are trying, but like everywhere else in the country there are struggles,” Hanson said. “The campus is rural and relatively demographically homogeneous communities. Therefore, many students haven’t been exposed too much diversity previously in their hometowns, so the experience of college and being exposed to different kinds of people and ideas is new for many.”

Wayne State College has a multicultural programs office that tries to create activities such as the international dinner to expand recognition of different cultures. WSC is home to more than forty international students who are representing more than twenty countries from all over the globe.

The college is trying to increase the number by giving students from outside the country the opportunity to gain an instate tuition which makes it more affordable for international students. The college has for example a Memorandum of understanding deal with the government of the Caribbean Island Curacao which give students from Curacao the right to have an in-state tuition.