As of late, increasing campus diversity has been one of the main focuses of Grand Valley State University. The Division of Inclusion and Equity recently conducted a Campus Climate Survey to see what campus community members think of the university as part of an emphasis at GVSU to provide resources for a more diverse and accepting community.

In order to fully commit to this action, we should also focus on having a qualified, representative faculty, staff and administrative body.

To make one thing clear: this push should not mean that the university passes up on qualified candidates who do not fit a certain demographic. Instead, it means that the university should reach out and make sure that as we try to create a more diverse student body, we also apply those same efforts to make sure that those at a higher institutional level reflect the student population.

Currently, GVSU’s student population is 82 percent white, and our faculty reflects that. The latest data from 2014 showed that only 3.8 percent of all faculty members were black. With our student population becoming more and more diverse each year, just as much of an emphasis should be put on ensuring that we are making the community as accessible as possible.

As seen in the Lanthorn article, “Less than 4 percent of GV faculty are African American,” Louis Moore, a professor of African American studies at GVSU, brings up the fact that we are putting priority on bringing students from environments that are of a mainly black demographic to a university that is highly white. The college culture shock is hard enough, especially when you feel as though you are not accepted or represented fairly.

While GVSU has worked hard to make sure that minority students feel welcome and accepted and have the resources they need, there is still more work to be done.

Part of the idea of being a successful community is being representative and supportive of each other. Though our diversity percentages are low, we do have students who do not fit into the 82 percent. As a community, we should be investing in providing an emblematic staff for all students at GVSU whether they fall into the majority or minority.

Having diverse student and administrative bodies allows for more ideas and perspectives to be shared among the community. People who come from a different backgrounds may have a different view that can be beneficial to students inside the classroom and out. Sometimes, they may not. However, it is up to us, and those in administrative positions, to make sure that those who can offer a different and needed perspective are given the opportunity to do so.

Let’s have uncomfortable conversations about how things are right now, so we can make decisions about how to improve things in the future. Let’s create efforts to search out qualified and diverse professionals. In the long run, it will benefit us all.