SWAU Now Ranked Second in Texas for Diversity

SWAU Now Ranked Second in Texas for Diversity

Southwestern students hail from many nations and feature a variety of cultures from around the world.

By Maritza Ortiz and Diana Monterroza

In 2021, the college search website Niche listed Southwestern Adventist University as the sixth most diverse school in Texas. As of 2024, SWAU is now second for the most diverse campus in Texas.  

Southwestern features many ethnicities, nationalities and backgrounds on its campus. But still questions remain. How well does SWAU represent its diversity? Are there any groups that aren’t represented well? Do students consider Southwestern a diverse campus? How do they feel their ethnicity is represented on campus? Finally, should SWAU make a bigger effort to highlight its diversity?

These are questions best asked and answered by SWAU students.

Genesis Santos, a senior communication major, and a Latino student says, “I view SWAU to be a diverse campus. I have several friends who come from a variety of backgrounds, which helps me learn and enhance my understanding of who they are and their culture.”

Santos also believes where you’re from could determine whether one feels well-represented at SWAU. “Maybe it’s because Texas has a large Hispanic population, but I feel really connected to a lot of individuals and my culture.”

But how are you supposed to feel included and represented when everything around you has nothing to do with anything about you?

Does Marsha S. Miller, junior theology major, who grew up in Nigeria, believe SWAU is a diverse campus? She says we are not quite there yet but, “SWAU is getting there.”  She gave no further explanation, but a couple of other students agreed with her.

Some students mentioned SWAU highlighting other groups more than their own, cafeteria food only catering to a certain group of students, and some of the assemblies being directed toward one or two groups on campus but not all.

Considering there are plenty of students who consider diversity and the representation of it to be important and SWAU being ranked second in Texas for a diverse campus, should SWAU try to be more inclusive?

Grace Akinfenwa, junior communication major, who is also from Nigeria says, “SWAU should do so to promote inclusivity and representation. I feel it’ll also create a more diverse learning experience for students and even staff and faculty.

“Personally, I feel like I’m holding back just because I’m not in my home country and I always get reminded of that 96% of the time.”

How can SWAU make people feel more included or represented? Listen to its audience, highlight every group equally, provide a range of ethnic foods, and create assemblies where more than one group of students can relate to it.

Differences matter. SWAU knows that and embraces it. While the campus is not perfect in its diverse movement, Southwestern is on the right path to achieving excellence for its students and faculty.

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