This year, Stanford University must be congratulated for achieving the highest black student yield rate of any university in the country. More than 64 percent of the black students admitted into this year’s freshman class decided to enroll at Stanford.
While The Journal of Blacks in Higher Education deems the yield rate the standard measure of an institution’s strength because it illustrates how attractive a college is to a community, Stanford should take a number of steps to make the campus more attractive to minorities and increase campus diversity.
In September, 190 new black students arrived on campus, but the currentspace and location of the Black Community Services Center no longer suffices as a home to the black community.
Currently, if any more than 11 percent of the black freshman class is going to attend an event, it has to be held at another site, because the capacity limit for any event at the current BCSC site is only 20.
If Stanford truly wants to welcome minority communities onto campus, it needs provide community centers with adequate resources.
The ethnic community centers not only provide space and support for ethnic communities, but, through their various events, they also allow students to learn from and increase their understanding of the diverse cultural backgrounds on campus.
Furthermore, diversity within the faculty body has a long way to catch up with the diversity of students. While the ratio of white faculty to white students is 2.3:1, the ratio of Chicano faculty to Chicano students is 14.9:1.
As of 2001, only 21.5 percent of faculty were women, while women make up about half of the student body.
As Stanford becomes more and more diverse, the University administration can no longer afford to maintain the status quo with regards to the makeup of the faculty.
Also, the Stanford community should recognize that race is by no means the only hierarchy that exists in this country; the University should also track statistics regarding other issues such as the socioeconomic background of its students.
The diversity of the student body along these lines would also contribute to the range of perspectives that makes a University a helpful learning environment.