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Diversity at APSU

The All State asked faculty, staff and students on campus what they thought of diversity at APSU and how it could improve in the future. The following are their responses, which should represent the campus climate and needs better than an opinion piece from our staff would.

I feel like  the groups are unintentionally segregated. It’s just naturally how a lot of people are. There’s really nothing the campus can do about it either because they can’t force people to hang out with other people.”

Matthew Kristofferson

SOPHOMORE PSYCHOLOGY MAJOR

When I have asked my students about diversity on campus, they often point out that black students sit in one part of the UC and the white students sit in another part of it. Every student should be required to take a diversity course because the only way to learn about each other is to sit together in classes and have open and sometimes painful conversation about race and racism.”

DWONNA GOLDSTONE

PROFESSOR, LANGUAGES AND LITERATURE

I always felt like our campus was very diverse in regards to gender, race, non-traditional students, military students, etc. I believe that the APSU Diversity Committee is doing a great job. Some examples are the Safe Zone Training and Campus Climate Surveys. I think that we need to hire more diverse faculty. Some departments lack diversity. Even in class, in the lower-levels of Spanish, a race division is visible when forming groups. I feel that we are going in the right direction.”

Osvaldo DI PAOLO

ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR, LANGUAGES AND LITERATURE

Diversity is very important to me, and I believe we are more diverse than the state of Tennessee but not nearly as diverse as we could be. Inclusiveness is the key. I think it is incumbent on all of us who work at APSU to go beyond friendly service and empathize when advising, teaching and transitioning students. Engaging the under-represented populations begins with us.
MARTHA HARPER

COORDINATOR, ADULT AND NON-TRADITIONAL STUDENT CENTER

Our campus is pretty diverse considering where we live. I think it’s thanks to the wide variety of unique programs that APSU offers and also the climate at our campus. You have so many different groups of people interacting on a small campus and working together towards similar goals. Our student organizations do a good job of spreading diversity by hosting workshops and lecture series showcasing different cultures.”

WAQAS AHMED

JUNIOR BIOLOGY MAJOR

I feel like there should be more classes that focus more on Asia and Africa. There’s no Asian cultural center. And the Hispanic Cultural Center is so small and tucked away.”

RANDI ALLEN

FRESHMAN COMMUNICATION MAJOR

We could be more diverse both in faculty positions, administrative positions and staff positions. We could be more diverse in terms of ethnicity, more diverse in terms of LGBTQ issues. We are increasingly better at diversity in faculty with female representation, and also we could be more diverse in hiring people with disabilities.”

JILL Eichhorn

COORDINATOR OF WOMEN AND GENDER STUDIES

As a researcher I feel our student demographic numbers are amazing. 33 percent of our student body identifies as an underrepresented racial minority, but when we use the more inclusive diversity characteristics like those of non-traditional student status, having self identified disability, or being a member cultural groups like our LGTBQ community, our numbers are likely much closer to 40 percent. I think we can improve our engagement as a campus.”

ERIN LYNCH-ALEXANDER

DIRECTOR, UNDERGRADUATE RESEARCH

Accept people and don’t judge them, be inclusive and don’t be close minded.”

MCKENZIE BAKER

JUNIOR COMMUNICATION MAJOR

I feel like we’re lacking that international diversity, and that’s something I feel APSU needs to work on. This school does not seem to have a problem with racial diversity, but it seems to be not very culturally diverse. APSU could be more welcoming to students with different cultural backgrounds.

WES ATKINSON

ASSISTANT PROFESSOR, LANGUAGES AND LITERATURE

I think the diversity on campus is fine the way it is. It’s a lot different than what [I was] used to at high school. But yeah I don’t really see a problem in any of the diversity or anything. I think everyone intermingles well.”

ELIZABETH PEGRAM

FRESHMAN THEATRE MAJOR

At APSU, sometimes you’ll be on campus and you’ll see different groups often in their own little corner. If you really want to have inclusion then you have to be intentional about the programming and bringing groups together and making sure they can be truly inclusive. I would like to see all the different centers continue to work together. We have to work on the next step and the next step is the hardest. And college campuses all over the country are really struggling with that, but at least APSU has an open mind to working towards that.”
Marcelius BRAXTON

DIRECTOR, WILBUR N. DANIEL AFRICAN AMERICAN CULTURAL CENTER

The diversity on campus is very small to me. Since I’ve been here I do feel that has been an increase in the amount of African American students and that would be about it and the campus is still per dominantly white. Small changes like different advertising strategies would be a great way to get different people of color to come to campus.”
RODRICK DARVIN

JUNIOR PSYCHOLOGY MAJOR

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