Tour guides expanding diversity on campus
MANAGING MOSAIC EDITOR
With almost 75 percent of the university’s population ticking the “white” check box under the ethnic category and repeated calls from the state to make campus more inclusive, it is indisputable that the university possesses a diversity problem.
Many of the Blue Hen Ambassadors, however, do come from diverse backgrounds. While these students are giving tours of the university to prospective students, they are in no means trying to disguise the fact that they attend a predominantly white university, but rather exemplify that there is more to this school than meets the eye.
“I feel that it does exemplify [the campus’s] diversity but not as well as it could,” Jedediah Hackett says.
Hackett is a freshman and member of Blue Hen Ambassadors, speaking about the ethnic representation amongst the tour guides in relation to campus as a whole.
Hackett, who is Mexican and feels that his Latino background has given him insight into what he can do as a Blue Hen Ambassador to help multicultural students feel welcome at the university.
He has become apart of a program within Blue Hen Ambassadors, known as Diversity Enrichment Leaders.
“We reach out to students of different ethnic backgrounds and socioeconomic backgrounds,” Hackett says. “The main purpose is that UD can better assist and help the multicultural students.”
The Diversity Enrichment Leaders do so by hosting “Destination Delaware” every year immediately preceding the Decision Days.
Destination Delaware invites students that have been accepted to the university and come from different multicultural and socioeconomic backgrounds.
The students spend the night on campus. In the morning, they are split up into groups and sent on various activities throughout the day to become acquainted with the campus, as well as feel welcome amongst the student body. With activities ranging from scavenger hunts to a showcase of RSO talent, Destination Delaware aims to bring a diverse group of students to the university in hopes of creating a more welcoming environment.
Alexa Perez, a sophomore who is a Blue Hen Ambassador as well as a Diversity Enrichment Leader, says that their aim is simply, to make the students attending Destination Delaware feel comfortable.
“This is giving them an experience that they won’t forget,” Perez, who identifies as Hispanic, says.
Perez says that with this event, the Blue Hen Ambassadors help these students get a taste for what college is like and understand that it is attainable to them.
“You don’t need to have a certain background or be in a certain family or be in a certain class level based on your wealth or something like that,” Perez says. “No matter who you are you can go to college. If you got in, why not go and try to experience that.”
While she is unsure of the exact number, Perez says the majority of the prospective students who attend Destination Delaware do wind up putting their deposit down and attending the university
She says that the program has been dramatically growing over the years, helping to increase the diversity of the campus, as well as assure students coming from different ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds that they will feel at home here.
Although the university is, for the most part, comprised of white students, the Diversity Enrichment Leaders are doing their part to help increase the diversity of the school and make incoming students feel included on the campus as a whole.
“It’s kind of cool seeing [Destination Delaware] expand and seeing the kids get excited about college life,” Perez says. “It makes me happy seeing them happy about it.”