White? Check. Black or African American? Check. Asian? Check.
Today, many young Americans are identifying themselves as more than one race. According to The New York Times, “young adults of mixed backgrounds are rejecting color lines that have defined Americans for generations in favor of a much more fluid sense of identity.”
When the government first allowed people to mark off more than one race in the 2000 U.S. Census, the results disclosed that there were about seven million multiracial people living in our country. Due to the demographic shift caused by immigration and intermarriage, multiracial Americans have become the country’s fastest growing population segment.
In fact, college students include the largest group of mixed-race people. Many colleges, such as the University of Maryland, have created student organizations like the Multiracial and Biracial Student Association to unite the multicultural population of the university.
With this in mind, we wonder not only how this demographic shift will change our country, but also how it will affect the diversity within our campus.
As an institution that currently consists of a variety of races, ethnicities, languages and faiths, UM has done a remarkable job in promoting a multicultural environment and recruiting diverse students over the years. We have become one of the most diverse campuses in the nation, and students find this to be one of the perks of attending UM. In fact, about half of our student population is Hispanic, Asian-American or African American, and about one in eight students are international students.
The number of students with mixed backgrounds at UM is increasing. We believe that this new demographic shift does not only increase race and class interaction on our campus, but also reflects the increasingly diverse face of our nation.
Being in a multicultural city can only enrich students’ college experiences as they come to understand different cultures. The growth of the multiracial population will not only blend races together, but will also create an environment that affirms and celebrates diversity on campus and in the community.
Editorials represent the majority view of The Miami Hurricane editorial board.