Minority students identify UI’s diversity strengths, weaknesses

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IOWA CITY, Iowa (KCRG-TV9) -- When you think of diversity on a college campus, does the University of Iowa come to mind? Some minority students say the university needs to do more to create an environment that supports students like them.

The Old Capitol building is shown in Iowa City on Monday, March 30, 2015.

That’s despite a recent study finding the University of Iowa's enrollment diversity nearly matches the state's graduation numbers.

The Hechinger Report found in 2015, nine percent of first-time, degree-seeking undergrads were Latino. That year, eight percent of Iowa's high school graduates were Latino. For African Americans, it was similar, a percentage of difference. Four percent of 2015 first-time, degree-seeking undergrads were black or African American, versus five percent of Iowa’s high school graduates.

Iowa Watch-- an independent, nonprofit and nonpartisan news service, hosted a panel with TV9, Thursday evening, to add some context to the statistics.

The panel of four minority students and one UI administrator spent about an hour and a half discussing, not just what the school was doing well, but what it could improve upon.

Some key points:

-A faculty that better represented the diversity of the student population.
-Having lessons incorporate more diverse and inclusive perspectives.
-And make sure the programs and aid already available is known about and easily accessible.

To read Iowa Watch’s synopsis of the discussion, click here.

To read Iowa Watch’s synopsis of the discussion, click here.