We often cover the negative impact on intolerant diversity rules on students and their organizations on campuses nationwide.

Yet, it seems minority students who are the focus of this “outreach” don’t seem to appreciate the approach either.  Vassar College student Aja Saafeld offers this “diversity perspective”.

I’m brown, I’m queer, I’m Jewish—all this means I am used to being targeted explicitly for the sake of improving so-called diversity in groups that are targeted at white, straight, gentiles, or, let’s be honest, virtually everywhere.

When I was applying for colleges, colleges bombarded my mailbox with pamphlets touting the diversity of their campuses—as if having a student of color population of less than 40 percent is something to be proud of. So, as someone whose identity is often used for the purposes of furthering diversity, the idea of athletes bringing diversity to Vassar is disgusting, inappropriate and grossly inaccurate.

I took offense with the premise of the sports column from last week’s The Miscellany News that athletes are a form of diversity on campus, since my existence on this majority white campus is ultimately used to benefit my white peers and to further their education (“Athletes add to the Vassar community through unique campus perspectives” 09.19.13).  Athletes are never used to educate their non-athlete peers; their educational institutions never boil their existences down to being athletes. Groups targeted for improving the diversity of extremely homogeneous groups are so often essentialized and targeted to simply be a statistic that can be propagated to prospective members of the majority group. Athletes do not further diversity on this campus simply by being athletes.

…The experience of athletes on campus is so wildly different from those of groups that are utilized to promote supposed diversity that it is almost laughable to try to compare the two. I cannot possibly accept that losing varsity athletes would make the school too homogeneous—this postulation borders on the absurd in its ignorance of the experiences of a diverse body of students.  Varsity athletes are not the diversity this school is looking for.

So, forgive me if I am highly skeptical of a male athlete touting athletics as a form of diversity on this campus. I, for my part, will continue to be a member of highly marginalized groups and remain a part of groups that actually further diversity.