The Lie about College Diversity - Essay Sample

Paper Type:  Essay
Pages:  5
Wordcount:  1202 Words
Date:  2022-08-18


Diversity refers to a state where different elements are incorporated in one group. In humans, diversity means incorporation of people of different races, cultures or socioeconomic backgrounds. Diversity in colleges has become a thorny issue that has created a dilemma for some college administrations. The issue has resulted in court battles where colleges are urged to enhance their student's diversity. Frank Bruni assessed the problem of college diversity and gave some views. This paper will respond to Bruni's article on college diversity. Emphasize will be on the perspective of the definition of diversity according to Bruni. The paper will also assess his claims, argument and the strength of the evidence presented.

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Frank Bruni defines the diversity in colleges from the point of how students interact and relate to each other after admission rather than from racial or socioeconomic aspects of students in colleges. According to Bruni, colleges define diversity based on the balance of integration seen on the student's list before admission and forget what happens to the students after admission. Once the students are together in the college, groupings occur based on several characteristics that draw individuals to groups which they feel best suit them. Students usually get attracted to groups which fit their desired characteristics.

The primary claim in the article is that racial and socioeconomic factors do not determine diversity in colleges as most college administrations as well as various arms of the government including judicially tend to think. Their claim is false because diversity depends on self-segregation of students that occurs naturally. It would have been better if colleges provided an expanded room for diversity through proper communication and integration but according to the author, the process of segregation in modern colleges is beyond institutions control. The author states that, by virtue of having people from different background who come together, colleges have created affinity groups that lead to increased racial tension. The author's statement is true since friendships in colleges are formed based on various factors such as interest in fun. While some students can afford an expensive lifestyle and fun, some will not afford. Students will consequently segregate based on what they can afford. Some will travel as a group and solidify their friendship during the fun activities, while those who come from families with less economic resources will prefer to stay in college and engage in other activities that they can afford or are free in the college and as a result, their friendship will be solidified.

To add more weight to the argument, Bruni quoted the opinion of education specialists who have observed student's segregation and recorded the firsthand experience. He cited Ronald Shaiko who is a senior fellow at Dartmouth College. Shaiko stated that the fruits of diversity will not be realized by assembling a varied student body. He further says that it will not be useful to use enormous resources and energy in assembling students from varying background and fail to teach them how to communicate and interact with each other outside of their comfort zones (Shaiko). Bruni further quoted a personal dialogue with David Reingold who is a dean at Purdue University. According to Bruni, Reingold told him that when he walks around the college and observes how students behave, it is clear that the segregation behavior has not changed much for the last three decade and institutions have not figured out how to end those tendencies (Bruni). Instead of building cohesion, colleges have done the contrary by creating more division by allowing students enjoy what their heart desires including variation in accommodations and failing to control students' communication especially on the way they respond to opinions they find unpleasant. Such occurrences have been observed in various universities in the United States where students have expressed concerns that their views should be heard and respected while the contrary opinions emanating from other students should not be recognized. Although this assumption expresses a crucial point, the point is weak in that the author only stated his idea and quoted some institutions without giving the reader the source of information. Data in the form of figures and source of information would have added more weight to his idea.

Bruni thinks that colleges offer a unique opportunity to end segregation and enhance diversity in society. This statement is evident in our societies in that colleges is the place where students from varying background meet and can easily interact with each other unlike when they are away from the schools. To add more weight on his point, Bruni looked at diversity and factors that aid in allowing people from different backgrounds come together and interact at colleges. According to the author, off-campus trips between diverse students will enhance interactions and integration to end segregation. He states that Universities are setting aside funds for such activities. According to Adam Weinberg who is the president of Denison University, Ohio, such funds were used to organize a Seder where Jewish students hosted international students from China (Bruni). The architecture of paths in the university has also been modified to ensure they cross more than they are diverging. This intervention is aimed at making sure students interact more. There is also an attempt to create public places within the college to allow for more interactions of students. The evidence presented by the author on the means of enhancing diversity seems to be relatively weak even after incorporating opinion from University. The ideas presented will not give new ways of interactions since students have always interacted in several ways. By virtue of being admitted in the same course, students have always interacted including in groups discussions. Other special interests such as varying clubs seem to be the source of the problems. For example, some clubs such as traveling and wildlife clubs are more proffered by people with resources. A level playing ground while in school will be the most ideal intervention.

Bruni admits that colleges are not encouraging diversity through abroad trips. He states that only 10% of colleges are encouraging these trips. These figures add more weight to his argument. He furthers states that this intervention is not helpful since the trips seem to be connecting peoples of the same class. He further gives more significant support to the points by pointing out that these trips are mainly between developed nations meaning segregation is further solidified.


In synopsis, it is clear that the author of the article presents important information and attempts to support his arguments through quotes and direct interaction from various stakeholders; however, a weakness of the argument is seen in that they don't come from reliable sources that would correctly confirm the state of the claims. Published researches in peer reviewed journals could have added more weight to the claims and instead of using personal conversation with stakeholders, statistically analyzed interviews from several people would be more appropriate since a single person would be expressing personal opinions.

Works Cited

Bruni, Frank. The Lie About College Diversity. The New York Times, 12 Dec. 2015. Accessed 6 September 2018.

Shaiko, Ronald. Admissions Is Just Part of the Diversity Puzzle. The chronicle of Higher education, 9 June, 2013. Accessed 6 September 2018.

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The Lie about College Diversity - Essay Sample. (2022, Aug 18). Retrieved from

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