Article

The reality of differences

The purpose of this study was to provide information for stimulating dialogue on matters of race and ethnicity within the university community. 1,424 studentswere surveyed in the College of Business Administration, College of Letters, Arts and Social Sciences, College of Engineering and College of Science to determine how students of different ethnicities perceive each other. Statistically significant differences were found in our students’ perceptions that could be explained by the respondents’ ethnicity, generation in the U.S., the number of different ethnic groups from which they “had a friend with whom they worked pretty closely,” and their own perception of “how others saw them.” Certain ethnic groups were perceived less favorably by all other groups. There is evidence of prejudice and ethnocentrism. It is also clear, however, that certain factors are associated with student perceptions of each other that are more positive. As Cornel West wrote, “Race Matters.” We must address these issues of race and ethnicity as auniversity community.

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