As of this fall, only 16 percent of North Dakota State’s 14,516 students identified as anything other than white.
Though this percentage is slightly greater than the state’s overall 13 percent, it’s still far behind other national universities.
In 2015, NDSU ranked near the bottom of U.S. News and World Report’s Campus Ethnic Diversity Index — continuing its streak as one of the least diverse campuses in the country.
As an institution created with the goal of preparing students with the necessary knowledge and skills to succeed, it’s important NDSU uses its power to broaden its students’ perspectives on the world.
The Internet is omnipresent and has made it even easier to reach out to people across the globe with a touch of a button. Multinational companies are the new norm, and students entering the work environment need to be prepared for this change.
Students must learn how to effectively communicate and work with the international community, now more than ever.
Beyond this, it’s essential that students begin to appreciate the many contributions people from other cultures, beliefs and backgrounds make to the communities of which they are a part.
The diversity issue is the second of eight special editions The Spectrum staff will publish this year. In our small way, we hope to highlight the people working to create a culturally diverse and thriving campus.
But even as we celebrate what we have, we recognize that we have a long way to go.
In recent weeks, local media outlets have made a show of informing the community’s refugees that they are unwanted here.
This sends a dangerous message not only to the vulnerable population but also to international students and young people of every minority.
As a newspaper, we will continue to share the stories of the many students, faculty and staff, organizations and programs across campus who help to increase students’ knowledge of the world outside Fargo-Moorhead.
As a campus, we must choose to send a message that fits the Bison name: You are wanted. Your presence is celebrated. We are stronger because of you