Man on the street: Does UH’s diversity translate to cultural competency?
September 19, 2016
“Diversity needs to be less of an aesthetic,” said media production freshman Reem Al-bisha. “There should be more actions towards making everyone feel more welcomed and accepted. We need more of a community, not just small ethnic groups of students.” | Julie Araica/The Cougar
“I think everyone does have a good grasp of diversity,” said architecture freshman Eugenia Forgang. “It’s important to have diversity because it helps you learn better. The more outside influences and perspectives you have, the better you’re able to learn from the people around you.” | Julie Araica/The Cougar
“I definitely feel that the students here understand diversity,” said acting freshman Muhammad Khaerisman. “I feel like just being in the vicinity of UH you meet people of so many people from not just different ethnic (backgrounds) but social, political and economic backgrounds. And the good thing about it is that it’s always growing, and the more it grows, the more diverse it becomes.” | Julie Araica/The Cougar
“I don’t think the students on campus have a good grasp of diversity,” said communications sophomore Gerald Mills. “Yes, we are diverse, but the campus should provide more clubs and activities for students of different backgrounds. Different ethnic groups would have days where they get together on campus; black history and Hispanic heritage month would be more celebrated on campus. That can help educate those who may not know much about everyone’s background and what their culture is all about.” | Julie Araica/The Cougar
“I believe that the students here do have a good grasp of diversity,” said comparative cultural studies sophomore Marcus McWilliams. “I think everyone is very accepting of what makes other people diverse. Diversity plays a huge role on our campus, and not just racial diversity, but also religious diversity.” | Julie Araica/The Cougar
Earlier this month, the University of Houston became the first school to win three HEED awards, which address diversity at colleges and universities, in the same year.
Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) awards from INSIGHT into Diversity Magazine are unique and given annually to schools that focus on diversity and inclusion for all of their students.
The awards were given to the University of Houston, the UH School of Nursing and the UH Law Center.
According to the U.S. News & World Report, UH is the second-most diverse public university in the country. The Department of Education designated UH as both a Hispanic Serving Institution and an Asian American Native American Pacific Islander-Serving Institution by the Department of Education.
UH President and Chancellor Renu Khator formally received the HEED awards last week at the M. D. Anderson Library. The Cougar asked students if they thought others at UH had a good grasp of what diversity truly is, why it is important and what makes them diverse.