Frequency of Interactions with Racial and Ethnic Minority Students and Attitudes towards Campus Diversity and Diversity Programs

Sydney Theerman Butler University
Faculty Sponsor(s): Katherine Novak Butler University
In response to concerns about differential access to higher education and the recognition of the value of diversity, universities are developing new programs to promote diversity and inclusive learning experiences on their campuses. Given this, it is important to understand what factors increase student support and understanding of the benefits of campus diversity in order to create an inclusive and tolerant campus environment. A number of studies have examined the impact of close friendships with people of minority race or ethnicity on students’ experiences with racial/ethnic diversity. This study adds to this research by specifically focusing on interracial and interethnic academic and school-sponsored activity interactions. The purpose of this study is to examine whether frequency of substantive academic and extracurricular interactions with people of minority races and ethnicities is related to students’ support for and attitudes towards campus diversity and diversity programs. Academic and extracurricular interactions include interactions with others of minority race and ethnicity at events related to schoolwork or education, along with outside school-sponsored organizations. Student interaction information and information concerning knowledge and opinions on campus diversity programs was collected via survey. I hypothesize that greater frequency of interaction with students in minority racial and ethnic groups will be associated with greater support for campus diversity and greater knowledge of, and participation in, diversity programs. Additionally, I hypothesize that greater frequency of interaction with students of minority racial and ethnic groups supports more positive opinions of diversity programs on campus.
Oral Presentation

When & Where

11:00 AM
Jordan Hall 201