Delia Saenz, the director of the Intergroup Relations Center at ASU, defines diversity at ASU in terms of representation and Inclusion. “Representation is the extent to which our students, faculty, and administrators proportionately reflect the regional and national populations served by our public institution. Inclusion entails creating a positive learning and working environment, and a climate that is respectful of, and welcoming to, all members of our university.”
If you go to school at ASU, you can’t help but be immersed in an ethnically diverse setting. ASU is devoted to the representation of many different cultures on campus. As one of the nation’s most diverse public schools, more than 25% of its student body is colored. Students here come from all 50 states, and 141 countries from around the world. Maya Angelou, an American poet and civil rights leader once said, "We all should know that diversity makes for a rich tapestry, and we must understand that all the threads of the tapestry are equal in value no matter what their color." ASU is one of those rich tapestries, as you can’t walk ten feet without seeing someone who is of a different ethnicity than you.
Living in a diverse environment helps you to gain other’s perspective. You can learn a lot from speaking with someone from another country. For example, someone who’s financial situation wasn’t that great might remind you not to take the things that you have for granted. On the other end of the spectrum, hearing about another country, like Brazil, might intrigue you so much that you learn Portuguese and take a 3 month vacation checking out the Amazon.
Stereotypes are a major challenge to the acceptance of people for who they are. Believing something about a person because of a pre-conceived notion, without ever talking to them, is just plain ignorance. It is unfair to judge someone based on what you heard from someone else. Getting to know someone for who they are, and not making judgments based on stereotypes can only be good for you. Who knows, maybe you’ll make a new friend.