by Vincent Cucchiara
On Friday, November 10th, the Daily Collegian’s Editorial board wrote and published an Opinion article entitled “Penn State claims to be a diverse and inclusive community, but is it really?” lamenting the implied lack of diversity saying “Penn State Admissions Office released this year’s statistics for admissions requirements, and when it comes to campus diversity, we’re not that impressed with the numbers.” The main focus of this article is to point out the simple mathematical problem standing in the way of the Daily Collegian’s unfulfilled dreams, but I would be remiss if I didn’t point out that trying to avoid being “racist” by manipulating demographics is hypocritical at best. The truth is that, despite what modern college progressives and liberals want you to believe, they don’t have a problem with judging someone based on skin color rather than merit. For example, you will never see a Collegian article about the fact that Asian-Americans are discriminated against in admissions with respect to their scores on standardized tests, but instead you get dozens of articles every year in the vein of the one cited above.
First the numbers, “In the 2016-2017 school year alone, 68.4 percent of all Penn State students were white, 8.6 percent were international, 6.2 were Hispanic/Latino, 5.9 percent were Asian American, 5.8 percent African American, 26 percent were multiple races.” With People of Color presumably referring to any student who is not considered White, we can first look at percentages of White to non-White students. As cited, 68.4 percent of PSU students are White. In keeping with The Collegian’s editorial, lets dispense with the notion that merit ought to have anything to do with college admissions, and skip right to judging peoples’ college readiness by the color of their skin. Since I have yet to be made aware of any official designation for the optimal amount of diversity (all I know is it’s never enough), I will begin by comparing these numbers to the state and national demographics. More than half of all Penn State students are PA residents, and White people make up more than 83% of Pennsylvania residents. This immediately reveals a large disparity in Penn State’s admissions, which the Collegian’s editorial staff will no doubt find heartening. If we continue to expect a proportional representation of the demographics of the US and Pennsylvania, the entire student body, weighting in-state and out-of-state properly (by percent of the student body drawn from each), would be around 73% White. In that case, if Penn State were to reflect the demographics of the areas from where they draw students. they would in fact have fewer Non-White students. However, despite the fact that Penn State under-represents White students by more than 4.5%, the Collegian is still not “impressed.”
Now that we have established that Penn State is in fact over representing People of Color, lets look at other Universities in PA. Temple’s student body, for example, is only 55% White, and the University of Pennsylvania is only 45% White. Other Ivy League Universities such as Princeton and Harvard boast 44% and 43% White student bodies, respectively.
It is certainly possible that the Collegian’s Editors are simply not mathematically inclined and, therefore, struggle with the concepts of finite numbers, but it is nonetheless true that there are only so many People of Color to go around. If a disproportionately larger amount of the People of Color are enrolled in some schools, then there will necessarily be other schools with a disproportionately smaller representation of People of Color. With other elite Universities under-representing White students by so much, we should count ourselves lucky that we are able to do it at all. Can you imagine the uproar that would ensue if Penn State were to equitably represent White people? People of Color are a scarce commodity these days. Just think, based on simple math, there must necessarily be some woeful institutions in this country who unconscionably over-represent white students. I wouldn’t dare share the names of these schools, as I’m sure the students and administrators couldn’t stand the embarrassment, but nonetheless, they must exist.
Satire aside, does the Collegian have a problem with white people being in college? As has been demonstrated, Penn State does in fact over represent non-white students when compared to the national and local populations. Yet they say in an article, which claims to speak for the editorial opinion of the entire paper, that they are unimpressed by the lack of diversity.
How far have we fallen from the days when we felt an imperative to reward talent and diligence in academia? What has brought us here? Why are we judgeing a univerisities’ quality by it’s lack of White people? When will we have sacrificed the ideals of meritocracy in the name of diversity enough? Ask the Collegian. Ask your administrators. Ask yourselves. What is so great about diversity for the sake of diversity?