Wed. Apr 8th, 2020

Wake Forest is not as diverse as it claims

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.

  • yankeepride

    You didn’t know you were going to White Folks University? I wonder what the diversity numbers look like when you remove the athletes, who, because of their regimented schedules, tend not to mingle with the genpop as much. My guess is that it isn’t so much a lie as it is a shading of the truth behind the numbers.

  • tdaly29

    In the late 1960’s I brought this same question in a letter to the OG&B. President Scales was not pleased and invited me to his office for a discussion. I see not much has changed in this regard. I notice that in the rankings of schools by USNews that WFU is doing well, but two indices are worrisome. One is the percentage of minority students. The other is that Wake ranks first in average income level of its student’s parents (which is hard to believe given the Ivy League). Perhaps the second leads to the first. When I was at Wake there were many students whose parents were middle or working class. Tuition was $500 which, given the minimum wage then , a student could earn in a job during the summer.