Editorial: Diversity goes beyond declaration


Photo by: Emmalene Oysti

North Wind Staff

NMU is getting a facelift. We’ve gotten new programs, new buildings, new logos and recently new mission and vision statements. Both of which include “diversity” and “inclusion” as two of the main principles. To make these principles more of a reality, it will take not only the administration, but the campus and community’s support to foster this change.

A few years ago, it was obvious that NMU lacked diversity, perhaps due to our rather remote location. Recently, university administration has been taking steps to change this. We are the first Michigan university to house a four-year Native studies degree, have gained a diversity officer on campus, are bringing diverse individuals to speak to students and are recruiting more students from outside the rural Upper Peninsula.

With the current political climate, we commend the efforts of the administration to make our campus more inclusive overall. We are hopeful the principles of NMU spread to the minds of individuals throughout the campus and community. After all, a more accepting world doesn’t happen with one initiative, but one initiative can be the
impetus for a larger movement.

Incorporating diversity in mission and vision statements does not necessarily reflect the actions of the campus community. The recent push for diversity can help the principles of our university seep into interactions between students, faculty and into our personal lives, pushing others to set aside internal prejudices.

As students and people we must be willing and eager to spread diversity in a community that, quite frankly, lacks it. Whether it be racial, religious, physical, cultural or ideological diversity, we must work toward becoming inclusive of all groups despite politics that may state otherwise.

As a whole, we cannot stand complacent to the changes that have been made, believing they are good enough. Instead we must continue to move toward a more diverse and accepting population. It may sometimes seem that here in the Upper Peninsula we’re living in our own cold, secluded little bubble, but even the small initiatives of our university can create momentum that can snowball into real change.