University of South Dakota Cultural Diversity and Inclusiveness
Medicine and Health Sciences
In 1994, USD acted to implement a range of diversity efforts on its campus, believing it would enrich the experience of all involved. USD implemented its focus on diversity and inclusion in its value statement. Since then, diverse activities have been implemented, but there are still actions on campus that oppose them. Per USD's Enrollment Dashboard, of the 10,066 students enrolled at USD for the 2018 fall term, only 1,747 of those individuals were of non-white background. Five students, from all backgrounds, were asked a series of questions regarding their background on campus. All but one individual stated that USD does not meet its diverse background needs. Studies have examined how higher stress levels and imposter feelings are high among diverse minorities on college campuses and how they impact their mental health. Statements like; "USD doesn't do anything to make us feel comfortable, we do that. We find comfort between us" and "I feel like a token" are only a few of the expressions from minority individuals at USD. Contrary to USD's value statement on diversity and inclusiveness, students of diverse ethnic backgrounds do not feel that USD meets their needs. A better understanding of all students needs to be implemented for USD to succeed under its value statement.
Arango Gomez, Irene Thelma, "University of South Dakota Cultural Diversity and Inclusiveness" (2020). IdeaFest. 93.