Representation of Minorities on Campus

Students discuss how they view the college’s representation of minorities on campus.
By Nhi Le

Selena Luna, a first year, states her experiences here with racism have been subtle incidences but enough to make her feel uncomfortable. According to Luna, “Representation at Ripon feels more like a fallacy.” She talks about how she actually believes that Ripon College does not do a good job of representing its minorities.

The makeup of the student body has about 26 black students, 62 hispanic students, 7 Asian American students, 27 international students and 561 white students. These numbers suggest that Ripon College is a predominantly white college. With that being said, Luna states, “Ripon College overly represents the students of color on flyers of pamphlets to advertise their diversity.” She wishes that instead of the exaggerated representation, Ripon would properly represent their community. According to Luna, misrepresentation is a problem for her on the campus as a student of color.

Another student, Dakota Marlego states “Ripon is a more diverse campus than my high school was, but I feel as though that the race issues on campus is not well addressed.” Marlego believes that Ripon should focus on addressing the issues of race on the campus and encourage more discussions. Megan Rupnick, a sophomore, points out that, “Ripon tends to recruit students from the same three areas.” The three areas that Rupnick is referring to are Milwaukee, Chicago, Oshkosh. She wishes the college would recruit students from a bigger radius than it is currently. Rupnick personally states, “I want to ask others what they need ask to more well represented.”

On the other hand, Shreyah Gautam, a first-year international student said, “Ripon did properly represent their diversity to me. It was what I was expecting.” She believes in order to improve the representation she should share her culture and her diversity in order to improve the campus. Gautam understood that when coming to a small campus of about 708 students diversity rates were going to be low.

Melissa Anderson from the Marketing and Communication Office states that in order to advertise diversity, they first begin by talking about their diversity mission and their anti-bias policy incident reporting tool. Anderson also said, “We list the clubs and student organizations who have diversity as part of their mission, and talk about some of their popular initiatives and events.” The department also shares the percentage of their diversity here on campus through Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System.

Ripon is considered to be a smaller college than most. For a small college Ripon has more diversity then some smaller towns, such as Waupaca, Wisconsin, which is where Marlego is from, but it also holds less diversity than a city like Milwaukee, Wisconsin, which is where Luna is from. The Marketing and Communications Office focuses on Ripon’s diversity mission as it is an important concept for them to advertise. Along with that, they advertise the diversity clubs on campus.