It’s common knowledge by now that K-State set another record for enrollment this fall. With 24,581 students, we’re as large as we’ve ever been in our 150-year history, and that is cause for celebration. What a lot of us may not realize, however, is that we’re also currently the most diverse we’ve ever been in K-State’s history – with 3,458 students who identify as black, Hispanic, Asian, American Indian, Hawaiian/Pacific islander or multiracial.
Looking back on my time at K-State so far, I can say with certainty that many of the times I’ve learned the most in the classroom have been when I’ve gotten the chance to work on group projects with individuals different than myself. Whether they come from other parts of the nation or world, have different beliefs or different hopes for their future, many of these fellow students I’ve been able to interact with have stretched me to think through my own beliefs, paradigms, and mental models – often leading me to amend my patterns of thought and grow in the process.
One of my biggest hopes for our campus is that we can work together to have more experiences like these. As our enrollment figures show, we have great diversity at K-State, but all too often, I don’t think student government and other campus organizations do enough to encourage collaboration and cooperation across our diverse student body. Having more diversity (of race, religion, culture, sexual orientation – the list goes on and on) within our student organizations will allow us to view the events and programs we hold through the eyes of all students on our campus, leading to more and more ideas for improvement and innovation than ever before.
Recently, Provost April Mason hosted Speaker of the Student Senate Kyle Nuss, myself, and the leaders of several of K-State’s multicultural student organizations at her home for an evening of brainstorming and discussion; we left with may ideas to create a more inclusive campus. This year, SGA has hosted “meet & greet” events with both the international and multicultural students on our campus, and more, similar events are in the works. I plan to work hard in the coming months – along with the rest of SGA’s leadership – to promote the opportunities that come each Spring for involvement in student government, and we plan to visit organizations that we haven’t reached before in the process.
We’re making progress in this area, but we have a long way to go. If you or your student organization would like to learn more about SGA or have suggestions for how we can do a better job of reaching you, don’t hesitate to email me at the address listed below. Have a great week!
Student Body President