Diversity is important to student diversity activists, as long as everyone agrees.

Aaricka Washington of the Indiana Daily Student reports.

Students rally for increased campus diversity

Fred Diego spoke into the megaphone facing a group of ecstatic black, brown and white faces in the biting, 46-degree weather.

“How many of your professors look like you?”

Only three students raised their hand.

At 12:45 p.m. Friday three students ­— junior Fred Diego, senior Titilayo Rasaki and junior Leighton Johnson — stood with a few others at the Sample Gates arch. By 1:15 p.m., there were more than 100 students, staff, faculty, community leaders and state legislative representatives alongside the three Diversity Coalition leaders.

They gave students bold, colorful posters to hold up that read, “Broken Dreams, Unfulfilled Promises,” “How do you quantify culture?” and “WWHD — What Would Herman Do?”

Members of Groups Program and Hudson and Holland Scholars led the diversity coalition rally on Friday to call for increased numbers of underrepresented minorities on campus and to fix the infrastructure within the two programs that bring in most of those minorities.

Last year, Rasaki, a Hudson and Holland Scholar, said she decided not to join the diversity rally because she felt the alternative methods had not been exhausted. Rasaki said she believes rallies and protests should be a last resort.

“I believe that in this rally, we’re trying to collaborate because we have mutual interest,” Rasaki said. “We are stakeholders to this University and we want it to be better and multicultural. What we’re trying to do is help to basically make that become meaningful action.”

The IU Diversity Coalition advocates for a healthy, multicultural environment that will promote cross-cultural interactions on campus and protect access to higher education for underrepresented students, as well as integrity in the infrastructure of their programs.