John Brown University is a school of 1353 undergraduate students. Of those, 1056 are non-Hispanic white individuals. While some may suggest that this is not a problem or that the University can’t do anything about it, some JBU faculty and students have stated that much more could, and should, be done to bring diversity to the campus.
Raynisha Robinson, director of Career Development and co-sponsor of Mosaic at JBU, said that diversity is very important not only to the University, but to the whole world.
“Diversity is important for college campuses so that students can learn how to do life with people,” she said, adding that being exposed to diversity builds useful interpersonal skills.
Robinson said she believes that diversity is especially important to a Christian University.
“We’re not trying to be like one another, we’re trying to be like Christ,” she said. Robinson said that if JBU wants to reflect the kingdom of God, it should be reflecting all kinds of people.
“All tribes, nations and tongues should be represented. There are elements of God that are missing [at JBU] because those things aren’t reflected on our campus,” Robinson said.
She thinks JBU could be doing more to promote student diversity. “I think we talk about it a lot. We have the conversations, so that’s good.”
“There are steps that are being taken. Could they be bigger steps? I absolutely believe so,” she said.
Several students at JBU share Robinson’s feelings on this issue. “JBU is diverse in that the people here have a wide array of opinions, beliefs and personalities, but diversity of culture and ethnicity is lacking equal representation,” Colleen Dyer, sophomore history major, said.
Sophomore Taylor Genser said, “I think we do an okay job of taking care of the diverse groups we have. We just don’t attract new groups. Also, the groups we have are so small comparatively.”
Robinson suggested a few actions that could be taken to promote diversity at JBU. “We just need to do a better job of being who God has called us to be and really walking out love. When you’re doing life with people who are different than you, do it the way you would do if you were married. If your [spouse] makes you upset, you don’t leave them. Lean in and love them. Get to know people before you label or stereotype them,” she said.
Student demographics at John Brown University