Virginia Tech Goes Multi-Culti

As part of an ongoing effort “to build a more inclusive and welcoming campus climate,” Virginia Tech will spend $337,000 to renovate and expand its Multicultural Center this summer. Next year, the Office of Multicultural Programs and Services will host “Dialogues Around Difference,” a series of workshops focusing on “student success strategies, cultural consciousness, and community collaboration.”

Said Zenobia Hikes, vice president for student affairs: “This project will strengthen and enhance the cultural competencies of the Virginia Tech community while creating an inclusive and welcoming environment for all students. It will support a rich campus climate that contributes to a civil and just community for all Virginia Tech members.” (See press release.)

Does it occur to anyone that the more people talk about their differences, the more they will end up accentuating those differences? Does anyone else worry that Virginia Tech is drifting towards a University of Virginia-style system in which minority students self-segregate by race under the guise of multiculturalism? Is there anyone else out there who thinks that the best way for people to overcome racial and ethnic stereotyping is to interact with one another as individuals in everyday circumstances, not guided in groups by ideologically driven facilitators?

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10 responses to “Virginia Tech Goes Multi-Culti”

  1. You may find this article from Inside Higher Ed to be relevant and interesting. The comments may provide you some small comfort…or at least amusement.

    Read it here.

  2. Anonymous Avatar

    The problem at Tech is that it has not attracted many minority students. And, according to recent reports, those that do attend Tech feel socially isolated. The same problem seems to exist at U VA and at W & M.

    There isn’t a very easy answer to the question of race in our society. We want equality and that seems to require the removal of barriers. “Separate but equal” is no answer where it is imposed. However, where the barriers are torn down, people seem to want to “resegregate” voluntarily–which I guess is because they feel more at ease with people who are similar–racially, ethnically, culturally.

    At Tech they seem to do the best that they can to attract a diverse student body. Shouldn’t that be encouraged? If it takes a renovated Multicultural Center to help attract minority students isn’t that a desired end? At least the student body will be more diverse. They have to attend the school first–then at least they’ll have some opportunity to interact as individuals.

    Whether the students will interact as individuals or not is another step in the continuing effort to make our society one that is open.

    I admit to some frustration in all this. Whatever happened to the “melting pot” theory of America?

  3. James Atticus Bowden Avatar
    James Atticus Bowden

    Some minority students might be uncomfortable for reasons other than racism directed towards themselves. Affirmative Action Black students at U VA have average SATs over 200 points below the White kids who come from thoroughly integrated public schools. In the First Year their parents go to the separate, but most likely equal, Black Parents’ (or Hispanic or Asian parents’) breakfast. They are constantly told that they have differences to be embraced, go to meetings segregated by race and can take courses that are basically Race 101, Race 102, etc. This is opposite of team building to make everyone equal and united – sorta like E Pluribus Unum.

    The real disgrace, other than the moral hypocrisy, silliness and political correctness intolerance, is the absolute anti-intellectual, vapid ‘multi-cultural’ fill-in-the-blank in colleges and universities. Colleges and universities are the products of one, and only one, culture. From their Latin mottoes to their caps and gowns Virginia’s colleges and universities are direct descendants of the great universities that arose in the late Middle Ages in Europe. Consequently, the basis of pedagogy and systemic learning – the ontology – is rational empiricism. It’s the syncretism miracle that married the rationalism of the Greeks to the mysticism of the Hebrew derivative religion – Christianity – that serves as the basis of European culture – and lead to the Protestant Reformation and the Enlightenment.

    The body of knowledge that has grown in anthropology and history concludes that the paradigm is – culture begets civilization and civilization begets countries. Sub-cultures transcend from the culture through the civilization and co-exist in countries. But, these sub-cultures are not ‘multi’ cultures. They exist in a symbiotic and subordinate relationship with the dominant culture and other sub-cultures. Elite universities have long recognized these sub-cultural differences and taught courses on American sub-cultures like Southern literature, Jewish politics and Afro-American (formerly Negro) art, etc. Yet, clearly the U.S. was one culture – an Enlightenment Protestant English culture on July 3, 1776. On July 4th it became ‘American’.

    The Culture War (good books from U Va scholar James Davison Hunter) is about which culture shall define American Civilization and the U.S.A. Today’s popular multi-culturalism is merely one political arm of the Liberal attempt to capture the culture. ‘Multi-culturalism’ doesn’t recognize the sub-cultures of Southerners, Other than Northern European ethnics, Cajuns, Jews, Indians, Blacks, Hispanics, etc. as sub-cultures of one culture but engages in racial identity politics. Furthermore, they promote the anti-cognitive and anti-American ideas that the identity groups have a causal relationship with thinking and being. It’s racism with a politically correct smiley face.

  4. Give me strength. We live in a democracy. Okay, a republic. People of color are becoming the majority. Majority rules. Women and minorities outnumber white men as potential future customers of our colleges. Want to get the best students. Offer them what they need to feel comfortable. ’nuff said.

    Don’t worry … all this is leading to affirmative action programs to admit less qualified white men because everyone is wringing their hands about UVA, etc having majority female student bodies which is what happens naturally if students are admitted on their merit.


  5. Jim Bacon Avatar
    Jim Bacon

    Claire, that’s an interesting thought — affirmative action at UVa for less qualified white men. But most white men, the conservatives at least, would oppose such programs on principle, even if it would benefit their racial/gender demographic. If more women were qualified to be admitted, then the problem of white male underperformance would need to be addressed at the K-12 level!

  6. James Atticus Bowden Avatar
    James Atticus Bowden

    When Ronald Reagan was the Governor of CA he was told that if they got rid of affirmative action quotas then the majority at the best of the Univ of CA schools would be Asian. He replied, “So what?”

    I agree.

  7. Jim:
    Actually, the principle driver of the increasing gender gap at our selective colleges and universities is not the under-performance of white males in k-12 … the data show that they have college going rates equal to white females. The principle driver of the gender gap is very high disparities of college going rates between minority women and minority men. Nonetheless, the problem is defined in the MSM so that many believe that it is a problem with all boys and men, and particularly, white boys and men … drill down into the data and that conclusion is unsubstantiated.

    That does not mean that we shouldn’t understand and address the ways that our current schools ill-serve boys and young men. I think that they do, but not many want to explore alternative education models that would better serve the dynamic, hyperactive child that is a typical boy (particularly if it means that the rote memory/high stakes testing model is part of the problem). I am a strong supporter of single gender education for boys and girls at different stages of their education where the data shows that the model enhances educational performance. See, e.g., Boys and Girls in School, Cornelius Riordan.

    I am pleased to see (and would expect no less from you, Jim, and from JAB) you saying that you would not support any affirmative measures to support your demographic. Unfortunately, history suggests that you may not lead either a “majority” view or your demographic cohort.

    Otherwise, why would UVA (and a number of the Ivys) have doubled its size when it went co-ed so that no man would “lose out” when women were admitted?


  8. James Atticus Bowden Avatar
    James Atticus Bowden

    CG2: Maybe they doubled their size so everyone could get a date? Just kidding.

    I agree about gender differences in K-12. That is good argument for charter schools and vouchers for school choice.

    And, as an off-the-wall thought over the years from my day job as a ‘futurist’ – the morally superior idea, integration, was expressed by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr to judge persons by the content of their character not the color of the skin. So for almost 50 years many Whites, especially Christians, have made the transformation of the heart to NOT think of themselves as White.

    The worst outcome of multi-cultural bunk and diversity daze is to have Whites identify as themselves in the coming days of pluralism, not majority, status, as White.

    A quick read of history since 1500 indicates these White people can be pretty energetic, dynamic and fearful. Read Webb’s ‘Born Fighting’ for some local color of that sub-culture.

    Not a good idea.

  9. Anonymous Avatar

    There isn’t any real ‘minority gap’ at Tech. The problem is that the engineering focused curriculum is not of interest to blacks. Asians and Indians seem quite healthily represented at the campus.

    This move by Tech will make it more like UVa – vulnerable to manipulation by hoaxers like Daisy Lundy and the installation of facility agitators like UVa’s minority student dean M. Rick Turner.

    So where is the conversation about making VUU or Hampton more ‘inclusive’ to whites?


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