Tiera George | Correspondent
On any given day at North Carolina State University, you are bound to see hundreds of students hustling and bustling through the campus. However, what you will not see on the NC State campus is a multitude of students of color. Sprinkled in for a dash of flavor like the cayenne pepper that you can’t use too much of, you’ll find the Black, Asian, Native American and Latino students.
Since coming into college, I have heard the word diversity 352,483,000 times. Diversity was pushed at every event, orientation, and sometimes discussed as a trigger word. Although I heard all this talk, I walked onto this campus seeing very few people who looked anything like me. I was in a sea of white students trying to find little pieces of home in every black body that I encountered.
“I believe NC State takes initiative to bring in a diverse set of students, but they don’t take that same initiative to make those students feel welcome or comfortable,” said Caleb Parker, a freshman studying architecture. This statement serves perfectly as an underlying theme throughout the black majority here at NC State.
In our American society, whites are seen as “the norm” and the more that a minority student differs from this “norm,” the more secluded they often feel.
According to Spelman University Professor, Beverly Daniel Tatum, “Minorities, particularly blacks need to go through a process of establishing and affirming their racial identity by securing a community free of negative stereotype.”
This alliance offers a necessary support group, but on a campus made up of over 34,000 students with only 6.6 percent of them being African-American leaves room for misunderstanding, microagressions, discrimination, marginalization, and misrepresentation all in the name of education.
In response to Beverly Tatum’s quote, I agree that it is so refreshing to fellowship with other black souls on this campus who not only understand you, but can give you the support you need to carry on. I understand that I do not look like the majority nor do I want to, I am perfectly fine with embracing my blackness. However, the privilege of being understood more times than not is definitely one of the more underrated privileges that white students are able to bring to the table.
“I personally think that we are a diverse campus, but because we are so diverse we tend to self-segregate,” said Vaani Kaur, a junior studying both Plant Biology and Horticulture.
This statement follows suit of the earlier quote by Parker in saying that although we we have somewhat of a diverse campus, we do not foster the needs of minority students by making the campus inclusive for all to get familiar with students of other cultures, nationalities, and religions.
“We should have more opportunities for people to just mingle without a purpose and educate people on diverse issues,” said Kaur.
Again, this ties into the frustration that minority students are facing with majority students by not being knowledgeable culture or relations.