UCCS embracing diversity through display

Dec. 5, 2011

April Wefler
awefler@uccs.edu

If you’ve been on the second floor of Kraemer Library any time between the second week of November and today, you’ve probably noticed the papers in the display cabinets by the bookshelves.

The display, which houses data from the 1960s until 2010, is titled “Starting to Look at Diversity at UCCS.”

Mary Rupp, archives librarian and digital repository coordinator, said that the display was titled “Starting to Look at Diversity at UCCS” because diversity means so many things to different people.

“We wanted to collect information as a starting point so that people could look into things more deeply and know what kind of information we had,” said Rupp.

In 1969, four years after our university was founded, an article on campus diversity was published. The article, published in The UCCS News, was the first time that diversity was specifically written about.

The article explained that there was an incoming class from 50 different states and 20 countries. The countries with the largest number of students were Germany, Canada and England, among others.

“At that time, the student body was older because we didn’t have dorms on-campus,” noted Rupp.

The display includes this article, as well as many others. While looking at the display, you see that 1976 was the first time that campus diversity was broken down by ethnic group.

“Starting to Look at Diversity at UCCS” is broken down into four different cabinets. The first cabinet has data from the late 60s and 70s; the second cabinet has the 80s, the third the 90s, and the last has the 00s.

The campus diversity report for 2009 and 2010 is broken down into white/unknown, Latino, Asian-American, African-American, American Indian and International.

According to the report, which is titled “Colorado Springs – Enrollment by Race/Ethnicity,” 78.1 percent of students were white/unknown and 10.8 percent were Latino.

For the minority groups, 4.9 percent were Asian-American, 4.1 percent were African-American, 1.2 percent were American Indian and only 1.0 percent were International.

The display includes the context of the time, so that students can understand what was happening in the world that corresponded with the diversity of the time.

For example, until 1974, there is data on married students. After 1974, FERPA forbade it.

Rupp said that there’s always been concern about inclusiveness on campus. “We have always had a diverse student body. Different groups have tried to make sure people are valued for their uniqueness.”

The display also gives information about those groups, such as the Office of Multicultural Affairs, founded in 1996 and the precursor of MOSAIC.

The display will be up through the end of December.