Wake Forest as a community has a problem and no one is doing anything about it.
Coming from a small town in North Carolina where I went to a mostly white, conservative Christian public school, I was excited to attend Wake Forest, as I had heard the preachings of diversity and inclusion. My tour guide was a person of color; this made me feel better about other North Carolina schools I had been looking at.
However when I arrived, I couldn’t help but feel like I was in the second chapter of high school.
Everywhere I looked on campus, I was surrounded by white faces. Students, professors and staff members alike, the only faces of color I saw were in the Pit or facilities workers.
This is a problem, and other people of color feel the same way. We don’t feel like we are wanted or respected here.
When you are talking about issues of race in a sociology class and look around to see few people of color, that is a problem.
When you go through Greek recruitment, see up to 10 people of color, and have someone tell you, “I love a good fiery African-American,” or “we have Latinos, but they’ve been Americanized,” that is a problem.
When you are told, “You should join a black sorority, you’ll fit in there,” that is a problem.
When you have a mandatory talk about diversity during orientation, and many people skip it, that is a problem.
When people run through the freshman halls screaming the N-word, defacing refugee posters and posting derogatory pictures on Instagram, that is a problem.
Wake Forest as a community should try to do better. I know that there are people who care about the minority groups on campus, but it is very hard to feel comfortable here. Many students of color want to transfer, and many have. Many feel they were lied to during admissions about Wake Forest’s great diversity rating. I am one of those people.
The sad part is, no one feels comfortable talking about these issues. Something needs to change; students shouldn’t have to feel like they are unwanted.
I know it will be hard to implement change — everyone pretends that there isn’t a problem. I do not know how to remedy this issue, but we have to start somewhere. By realizing this issue, hopefully we can find a way to truly promote a diverse campus a type of diversity that is more than just a nice looking pie chart.