To the editor:
The author of “Why would minorities want to come here?” thought that minorities would not come here because we have not shown the students here that Iowa State is a diverse university.
On the contrary, I think they would because they do not know the real situation before they would come. Every university can claim equally that they are diverse. So being a diverse university is not the real reason for attracting minorities.
It is a game of putting the cart before the horse by recruiting more minorities to be more diverse.
The process of being diverse does not end with recruiting more minorities, but it only begins there.
If we look at the current situation at Iowa State, I agree that the lack of participation by minority students in university organizations or activities is not due to a smaller number of minority students.
The absolute number of minority students is not that small, especially in graduate levels, the native students are in the minority situation.
As in one of my classes, only two of the ten students are native students. Why can minority students be found only in classrooms?
Do they participate in any extracurricular activities other than struggling with taking notes in lectures like a hard-working speed-recording secretary?
Do they have social opportunities to know this culture rather than living in a self-closed vacuum state? The answer is barely “Yes.” Obviously they are not classified academically as minorities but socially.
Minorities have nothing else to do except to hide somewhere and study all the time. The reason is cultures can be socially very different. Lack of the recognition of this diversity by any side can cause problems, lead to the hiding of the minority students and make the attempts to be diverse in vain.
Most of the minority students come to the United States in their 20’s or 30’s from different cultures.
But most seem to take it for granted that the minorities feel comfortable with their ideas and styles. One minority can hide from another minority, too.
I was told by another minority student (According to her, there are only five people from her race at Iowa State.) that students from my race are strange.
What is more strange is that I did not even make any argument. If “strange” means different colors, ideas, values and styles, then every race can be “strange” to each other.
I had never thought that I would be hiding before I came.
But very soon I found my job here is to study my courses, do my research, sleep at nights and keep telling my family and friends at home that I am fine, although I do wish I could make some complaints to them that students have much more homework and tests here than at home, I am overworked and tired most of the time.
Again, I even hide from my family and friends.
If both the majority and minority do not open to each other, show some interest, curiosity and respect to people who are different, if the university does not do anything to promote such an atmosphere, being diverse is only in the paper and not in real life. Recruiting more minority students to be more diverse is only a game of putting the cart before the horse.
The process of being diverse does not end with recruiting more minority students, but it just begins there.