Racial Tension On Campus

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While some students view the racial climate on DePauw’s campus as positive, the majority I had asked did not. The reasoning behind each answer differed, yet there was a consensus decision that there has recently been a negative racial climate on campus. There are many different theories as to how a campus may have a positive or negative racial climate, however some in particular accurately relate to DePauw’s campus. As previously discussed, the diversity of the student body has drastically increased, and some race relation theorists believe that this in itself is one of the main causes of racial tension. This may be true because according to Sylvia Hurtado, “When ‘harmonious inequality’ is challenged by subordinates, dominant groups are…show more content…
President Casey and DePauw have provided many services and actions to create a racially friendly campus. Some of these include the hiring of more diverse professors, cancelling a day of classes to discuss the racial issues, and requiring first year students to take a multi cultural or diversity class. Many students, including myself, believe that these actions have resulted in positive outcomes. While the school has fulfilled many efforts to prevent race issues on campus they must keep in mind that, “The dominant student [climate] may reflect or refute the central ideals of the institution as a whole. Thus, it is another powerful influence on an institution’s [climate].” (Kuh 1998: 25). In other words, despite the efforts of the institution, if the student population doesn’t have the same mindset then there will be racial tension. In a survey conducted by a third-party in 2007 found that white students were not nearly as interested in multicultural initiatives than students of color (Bottoms et al,. 2008:7). Not only are white students less motivated to become active in multicultural events, but also many of whom I spoke with had failed to recognize some of the recent events that transpired on our campus as a race issue. One example of this was the actions that took place as a result of protesters coming to DePauw. There were multiple African American students who were forced to the ground and arrested unjustly by police members. Many of the white students I spoke with about this failed to recognize the racial issue at hand and utilized what many sociologists call colorblind ideology. The school has attempted to address this problem, however, as previously stated, when the student body ideals don’t match up with the institutions then it causes a negative campus climate to arouse. An important aspect of DePauw and its relation to the racial climate is Greek

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