Editorial: Don’t forget about our diversity issue

Actor/producer Matt Damon speaks out against the lack of diversity at the Oscars.

Courtesy of IMDb

Actor/producer Matt Damon speaks out against the lack of diversity at the Oscars.

Editorial Board

In the weeks leading up to the Oscars the world put the academy in the spotlight for its incredibly blatant lack of diversity. No people of color were nominated in the major acting categories for the second year in a row, and Hollywood erupted in disdain. Acting power couple Will and Jada Pinkett Smith boycotted the show with “Avengers” star Mark Ruffalo and director Spike Lee, just to name a few.

It was clear that while the attention was on the award show, it was also on the lack of diverse actors represented, and people were determined to send a message to the academy that this sort of injustice cannot continue. For a while, this important issue was fueling an Internet fire that was ultimately put out by an extinguisher named Leonardo DiCaprio.

After six nominations it seemed the world was just as thrilled to watch Leo finally take home the gold for “The Revenant,” which has been the height of Oscar buzz since before it was released in theaters.

As much as we all loved seeing Leo win an award he should’ve won long ago, his eloquent acceptance speech seems to have been enough to put this issue of diversity on the back burner. While both the winners of the two major acting categories did excellent work in 2015, it does not negate the fact that there was not an adequate amount of diversity in this year’s nominations. Does this sort of situation sound familiar? It should because something remarkably similar has taken place on our campus during the course of this year.

The fall semester was filled with students voicing concern for the amount of diversity on our own campus. The now infamous incident at the Cy-Hawk tailgate sparked a domino effect of protests and open forums, where students made it clear that there was a serious issue of inclusion and safety for students of color.

Much like those in Hollywood, students stood together to send a message to administration that things can’t continue to go on the way they were on this campus. Students were holding a very strong passion for change, but when winter break rolled around, the passion seemed to drop off significantly because of the promise of a break.

Just as Hollywood cannot let the academy remain void of diversity, students of Iowa State cannot allow our own passion to rectify an issue of diversity burn out. Students should remain interested in the work being done by the administration to alleviate this issue and ensure we see real change on our campus.