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Letter to the editor: Lack of diversity at Ohio State doesn’t teach right lessons

Letter to the editor

The article “Some Columbus youth don’t see Ohio State as option,” published Sept. 18 in The Lantern, though more than two months old, still has me thinking and concerned about the current demographics at OSU. After reading the article and doing my own research, I’ve found that the disparity is far reaching. As the article states, the ratio of whites to blacks on campus is currently 85.6 percent to 5.8 percent, whereas the ratio in Columbus is 61.5 percent to 28 percent. As compared to the whole state of Ohio (with a white-to-black ratio of 83.6 percent to 12.4 percent) and the U.S. (with a white-to-black ratio of 78.1 percent to 13.1 percent), OSU does not even mirror the general population, though it claims to be a diverse and welcoming environment. The amount of blacks on campus has not even reached the double digits, while Columbus is nearing 30 percent. Also, out of the nine most popular public and non-historically black colleges and universities (HBCU) in Ohio (Cleveland State University, University of Akron, Wright State University, Bowling Green State University, Kent State University, University of Cincinnati, The Ohio State University, Miami University and Ohio University), OSU ranks in the bottom three for the percentage of blacks on campus, just above Miami and OU.
I believe it is the responsibility of the university and those affiliated with it (staff, students and media alike) to make this disparity a well-known problem on campus. In order to produce well-rounded global citizens, the first step is exposing our students to a well-rounded global environment. Being on a campus where there is more than 85 percent of one race does not produce the type of citizens that we claim. There is no doubt that OSU is a wonderful university, but there must be a more valiant effort to create the warm, welcoming, diverse environment that we claim to have. And the first step is unveiling the blanket of naivety and creating a dialogue about how to properly assess the deeply concerning demographics.

Chasmine Anderson, second-year in public affairs

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