Where’s the “Diverse” in “Most Diverse Campus”?


Courtesy of CWU Flickr

Star Diavolikis, Columnist

With the university flexing the title of being the “Most Diverse Campus in Washington,” it really doesn’t seem like it is. Granted there are efforts from organizations and offices such as the Diversity and Equity Center, Brooks Library and identity-based clubs and organizations doing what they can to help representation be on campus, these individuals should not be carrying the role of providing diversity on their own.

There were many different opportunities for events and various groups to provide representation of more than mainstream content, however nearly every instance has missed the mark. At an event I attended where music was played for all of the student body, only one Spanish song was played.

If it’s difficult to understand why this is a problem, no worries. The issue is that not everybody was raised solely on English songs, while music from other cultures was a large part of growing up. I found it upsetting that I had to attempt to get jiggy to “Party in the U.S.A.” rather than even a mainstream Spanish song like “Tao Tao.”

I truly have no rhythm for any music. Think of me as the dad who’s in charge of making the burgers at the barbeque. But Spanish songs have something to them that just makes dancing easier, not to mention the familiarity for myself and others which would make it easier to mingle. When in a setting where nothing is familiar, it is nearly terrifying to try mingling. I couldn’t dance, so I had no reason to be on the dance floor. Tables were full of people I didn’t know, so I awkwardly stood to the side with my friends during the event.

A lot of events, decorations and other elements of a functioning campus seem to leave out the people of color – whether it be Hispanic, Indigenous, Asian and other backgrounds, and it feels alienating. There isn’t enough going on to make us feel welcome, and whenever there is something going on to make us feel welcome, it seems like it only comes from a handful of entities on campus. Why isn’t there a universal effort from the university?

Fun and comfort shouldn’t just be for those familiar to one background, it should be for everybody.

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