Diversity at a Standstill
Published: Friday, October 19, 2012
Updated: Friday, October 19, 2012 02:10
The Initiative for Diversity and Inclusiveness was launched in 2009 in response to campus sentiment that there was too much talk and too little action on improving diversity. Three years later, the initiative itself has fallen victim to that same fate.
University President John J. DeGioia introduced the initiative in an effort to increase diversity in Georgetown academics, admissions and student life. Georgetown continues to fall short in these areas, and minor progress and the passage of time are not reasons to let up on the university’s push for improvement.
With respect to diversity in admissions, Georgetown has seen a small increase in the number of accepted minority students, yet those figures continue to be lower than admission statistics reported by peer institutions. Socioeconomic status — another important measure of a student’s background and perspective — also remains far from varied.
Academics are another important area in need of diversification. Despite the urging of some tasked with advising the initiative, there is an absence of African American, Latino and Asian American studies majors. Additionally, the hiring of 11 minority faculty members since last winter doesn’t fully correct the deficit in faculty diversity. The student body racial distribution may be imperfect, but the representation of racial and ethnic minorities in the faculty remains far worse.
The campus community appears passionate about improving diversity on the Hilltop. This isn’t some abstract, altruistic ambition — it’s a critical step toward enhancing the university’s educational environment. It was admirable for the administration to step up to the plate on campus diversity. But three years later, we are still waiting for it to follow through.