Diversity at Dixie State University is at an all-time high, but officials say there is still room for improvement.
According to DSU admission statistics, DSU has seen an increase of the number of students that identify as minorities rise from 15.75 percent to 21.5 percent in just the last four years. The biggest increase has been among international and Hispanic students.
Everton Araujo, assistant director of international enrollment, said DSU engages with agents representing international students. The agents educate potential international students on immigration policies and the opportunities at DSU.
Sarah Lutjen, a sophomore integrated studies major from Bremen, Germany, said she couldn’t decide between going to school in the United Kingdom or in the U.S. Once she decided to further her education in the U.S., she still needed to decide between many schools.
“DSU was actually my first choice and I was happy when I got accepted,” Lutjen said. “I chose DSU because all the students from my university who went to DSU before said they had had an amazing experience.”
Araujo said DSU has limits on its ability to reach out to foreign markets. As a small university, DSU has to be as selective as possible with the students it chooses to recruit, Araujo said.
“We don’t have the money to allocate resources in every country like some of the major universities around the country,” Araujo said.
Those in the multicultural diversity center not only try to cater to those of an international decent, but those of any ethnic background, said Adam Ross, coordinator for the multicultural diversity center.
“Even if you are not a part of that specific race, we encourage students to participate in all of our ethnic activities and learn of different cultures,” Ross said. “We also try to incorporate a club for almost every ethnicity represented on campus.”
Howard Wall, a junior communication major from Las Vegas, said he contributes to a lot of the increase of diversity of the MCDC.
“It connects students from different ethnic backgrounds, shows them that your culture is still important, and that it can be incorporated into your college experience,” Wall said.
Wall continually hopes to increase attendance at activities that him and many others provide for the students on campus.
Ross said there is still room for improvement for the MCDC and the university.
I’d like to see our department market to students more effectively, Ross said. This would help students see the resources that are available to them.”
As an institution, Ross said he hopes to see more involvement from other student organizations to help connect diverse students to the “Dixie culture.”
Most of the university’s success in increasing diversity comes from its full-time employees taking the time to help students adjust, Ross said.
“I also give a lot of credit to new student programs for continually reaching out into different areas around the country,” Ross said. “These students from around the world and the country help contribute to a great learning experience of not only education, but culture at DSU.”