Many Temple students are initially attracted to the university for the variety, the many different cultures, languages and perspectives, which has recently gained national recognition, along with the affectionate dubbing of “Diversity University.”
Since the announcement of the university’s No. 1-ranking for most diverse student population in the nation in the Princeton
Review’s 2008 list of “The Best 366 Colleges,” the Office of Admissions and ethnic-based groups around campus are doing what they can to keep the high and notable position.
The Princeton Review’s results were determined by the 120,000 surveys answered by students from colleges across the country. Students that received
the questionnaire rated topics such as themselves, academics, campus life and the student body.
The Office of Admissions is planning on promoting the university to prospective students by using this award as the main showpiece.
Director of Admissions Timm Rinehart said approximately 40,000 postcards have already been made that display the many faces of Temple students. The postcards will be sent out to minority high school students to begin an immediate endorsement of the “pleasing, but not surprising title,” Rinehart said. Rhonda Brown, associate vice president of the Office of Multicultural Affairs, said she always thought Temple
was No. 1 in diversity.
“However, there is always room for improvement,” Brown said. “If you rest on being first, next year you may come in fifth place.”
The OMCA is also planning on increasing
diversity, Brown said.
According to their Web site, the OMCA’s mission is to assist the university with the protection of the vast diversity on campus. The OMCA is also responsible for recruiting new faculty, including posting open positions in places where women and minority scholars would be most likely to notice them.
Eric Stephenson, the vice president of academic affairs for Temple Student Government, is also a member of Gamma Phi Sigma, a Latino-oriented fraternity. Stephenson, a junior international business and finance major, said he believed the university is very diverse, based upon the many different faces he sees within student organizations,
such as TSG.
“Some people might say that Temple
doesn’t seem to be that diverse. That might be because most groups stick within their own groups,” Stephenson said. “To me, No. 1 in diversity should mean an equal amount of every culture.”
According to the fall 2006 Temple University student profile, more than 40 percent of the student body is identified
as a race other than white as of the last enrollment year. Similar statistics are also reflected within the faculty.Asian Student Association President Lawrence Liu, a senior kinesiology
major, said he felt diversity is “one of Temple’s stronger points,” while hopeful that the ASA will further contribute
to the diverse culture that makes the university so unique.
“However, I feel as though the Asian community has not been represented
on our campus,” Liu said. “Hopefully the Asian Student Association can help unite the various Asian organizations
on campus to change this.”
Brown said she could not think of another university that would be more diverse than Temple, even before the No. 1 ranking was announced.
“Temple should set the tone for the rest of the country,” Brown said. “This is how things should be.”
Megan Kelsey can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.