Ethnicity and diversity are extremely sensitive issues, and should be treated as such on campus. In the absence of properly representative diversity at York, extra care must be taken not to alienate students from ethnic minority backgrounds, and furthermore to ensure that they feel fully welcomed into all aspects of university life. It is simply not enough to produce glossy brochures displaying token diversity; this University must show an interest in diversity on campus from day to day, as well as during the application process.
In fact, York’s singular lack of ethnic diversity – both as a city and a university – make the challenges of creating and sustaining a viable multicultural community all the more acute. There is often a tendency for minority groups to become isolated, and insulated from campus life. Not surprisingly, this phenomenon is mutually reinforcing, and if left to develop can cause permanant social rifts as people begin to feel they have nothing to learn from each other. Ultimately, York’s diversity should be measured not in percentages but in the meaningful interaction of people from all backgrounds and ethnicities. Quota-filling does nothing to improve the quality of life of students, and we should keep our attention fixed on the real objective: a University where all are welcome and all feel wanted and respected.