Georgetown isn’t the alone among area schools concerned about its levels of diversity. Last Friday, University President Steven Knapp announced two efforts to increase the number of non-Caucasian students at George Washington University: a President’s Council on Diversity and Inclusion, and the creation of a senior administrative position to improve minority access to education and diversity among university faculty, the associate provost for diversity and inclusion.
Interestingly, when Knapp made this announcement before the board of trustees, he said that the goal of these new initiatives was to respond to the demographic shift among American students by way of increasing diversity at GWU.
“The way demographics in the United States are developing right now, if you’re not reaching out to all parts of America then you’re really not going to have the kind of students, the kind of experiences and the kind of talents you need to be a successful institution,” the GW Hatchet reported Knapp said.
At Georgetown, meanwhile, diversity initiatives are not just a response to low rates of enrollment by minority students, but to concerns that Georgetown’s demographic breakdown has created an unwelcoming and divided environment at Georgetown.
The ethnic breakdown of Georgetown and GWU are fairly comparable. The most recent data from the National Center for Educational Statistics showed that 65 percent of Georgetown students were white, 6 percent were Hispanic/Latino, 7 percent were Black/African-American, and 9 percent were Asian, Hawaiian, or Pacific Islander. Five percent did not list an ethnicity and 9 percent were non-residents of the U.S.
At GWU, data showed that 58 percent of its students were white, 7 percent were Hispanic/Latino, 7 percent were Black/African-American, and 10 percent were Asian, Hawaiian, or Pacific Islander. Thirteen percent did not list an ethnicity and 6 percent were non-residents of the U.S.