Black Students at Less Diverse Campuses Are More Likely to Be Victims of Discrimination

Data collected by the Higher Education Research Council at the University of California at Los Angeles finds that racial incidents are still commonplace on the campuses of colleges and universities in the United States. A survey of more that 4,000 minority students on 31 campuses found that race-related incidents are more likely to occur on campus where minorities make up a small percentage of the student body.

“Students experience more incidents of stereotyping and discrimination in low-diversity environments, and it doesn’t completely disappear in high-diversity environments, though it occurs at a significantly lower rate,” says Sylvia Hurtado, director of the Higher Education Research Institute at UCLA and lead author of the study.

For example, 22 percent of Black students on campuses where minorities made up less than 20 percent of all students reported that they had notified campus authorities of an incident of discrimination. On campus where minorities were between 21 percent and 35 percent of the student body, 14.5 percent of Black students stated they had reported an incident of discrimination. On campuses where minorities were more than 36 percent of the student body, 12.5 percent of Black students reported that they had been discriminated against.

More than two thirds of all Black students on campuses where minorities made up less than 20 percent of the student body, reported that they had experienced racially insensitive comments on campus. At campuses where minorities were 36 percent or more of all students, 37.5 percent of Black students reported verbal racial abuse.

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