Arts and Entertainment Editor
It’s no secret around campus that Springfield College lacks diversity. According to The College Board, Springfield is 82 percent white, five percent Black, five percent Hispanic, five percent unknown, one percent Asian and one percent biracial. With such numbers, Springfield has certainly not established itself as the country’s most diverse campus by any stretch.
While diversity cannot increase overnight, the inclusivity on campus is about to be discovered through the DLE survey.
The survey, which stands for Diverse Learning Environments, is an all-encompassing survey available to students about how they feel as far as inclusion is concerned on campus. The survey measures not just racial diversity, but also socioeconomic, sexual and religious among other forms of diversity.
As a result, one of the main benefits of the survey is that it will give a broad scope of the sense of belonging that students from every different background perceives.
The survey was chosen by a diversity and inclusion task force of faculty members in pursuit of increasing diversity and cultural awareness on campus.
“We spent some time to do our due diligence in order to find a good tool, and an appropriate tool. Once we had that tool, it was very easy. We had Dr. [Mary Beth] Cooper on board and as an institution everyone was on board,” said Director of Spiritual Life David McMahon.
With the use of this survey over the course of March, the school is hoping to gauge the “institutional climate” in order to discover what steps the school needs to take moving forward to increase its already clear and present goal of increasing diversity and assuring a sense of belonging on campus.
“Regardless of where we are now, it is a very positive thing for the institution to at least want to know this information, hear the voices and see where we can improve,” McMahon said. “Even if most of our students have a positive experience … we want to make sure everyone here is getting the best possible experience at Springfield College and that it’s a welcome place for as many people as possible.”
According to McMahon, the survey is said to be the most comprehensive survey around diversity and inclusion and will, in turn, be the best possible tool to find where students stand on every facet of diversity in the campus community.
The survey is used at multiple institutions across the country, so the results from Springfield would allow the institution to compare itself to other schools nationally to see where it stands on more than just an institutional or semi-local basis.
Recently, Springfield College has appeared to make a vastly more conscious effort to increase diversity as much as possible. And while speeches, presentations and events certainly help increase awareness, the DLE survey will provide a look at the school in a way never truly seen before. The survey will be open until late March (roughly one week after Spring Break) and extensive participation will only help in helping Springfield College not just step, but leap forward in inclusion and diversity.