On college campuses across America, there are always activists who seek to increase so-called “diversity.”
While diversity, in its truest form, is simply a mix of people from all backgrounds and identities, the push for more diversity on college campuses has a very narrow liberal agenda. Under this paradigm, diversity is good, but only if the diversity represents a particular type of minority.
Namely, the valued minorities are students of color (such as African American or Latino students), students who come from lower income backgrounds, and students who are the first in their family to attend college. Often, “diversity” includes geographic location and international status, too.
Yet, the narrow diversity students value ignores many other types of diversity. Only the types of diversity that are compatible with the iconography of the elite bourgeois college student are aimed for. Any minority group that cannot be glamorized is left in the cold. Colleges don’t just ignore these students but they’re even actively hostile to them as well.
Here are 5 such minority groups:
According to a recent Gallup poll, 37% of Americans identified themselves as conservative. At many colleges, particularly highly selective institutions, the students are overwhelmingly liberal and if they are conservative, they often don’t share their views with their peers for fear of rebuke.
After service, many veterans enroll in college with the help of the GI Bill. Of all living Americans, roughly 7.3% have served in the military at some point in their life. Yet, most colleges do not publicize statistics on the percent of their students that have served.
Just like racial minorities have historically faced erasure in the media, veterans have, too. The fact that colleges do not publicize the percent of students who have served—who are often older and male—shows again how narrow definitions of diversity deify some minority groups while excluding others.
Many college students have children. To attend college and to raise children at the same time is no small feat. Roughly 26% of college students in America are raising children, and women comprise 71% of student parents, according to the Institute for Women’s Policy Research.
While the iconography of the prototypical college student is often that of a young woman fresh out of high-school, we must realize that the “average” college student looks much less like that. As Conor Friedersdorf wrote in The Atlantic earlier this year “The Typical College Student is Not Who You Think It Is.”
4. Students Older Than 22
Youth is fleeting, and thus society values it immensely. Few colleges put their non-traditional students on their brochures, even if they comprise a significant portion of the student body. At some schools, students who are older than the stereotypical college student outnumber the students fresh out of high school. For example, at Liberty University in Virginia, 57% of the student body is over the age of 25.
5. People with a Prison Record
An estimated 5.1% of Americans will serve in prison at some point in their life. And of course, when they are released, some of them will attend college. The process of overcoming a criminal conviction is fraught with difficulty.
Yet, students who have spent time in prison not only provide a unique perspective to the campus environment, but they can benefit tremendously as they rebuild their lives. Although helping ex-prisoners attend college would help break the cycle of poverty, virtually no college activists advocate for these people.
Unfortunately, while some minority groups are praised despite the fact that they only comprise maybe 1% or 2% of the student body (think: transgender students), there are many other minority groups that are equally deserving.
The selective focus of leftist campus activists in their quest to increase diversity shows social justice warriors only care about the type of diversity that’s en vogue — not the type of diversity that truly helps contribute to a richer learning climate.
The views expressed in this article are the opinion of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Lone Conservative staff.