Complaints of racial stereotyping doom Southern Methodist U survey
- Southern Methodist University officials are defending a now-removed campus survey that allowed students to crowdsource questions relative to racial and ethnic diversity on campus. The Dallas Morning News profiled the controversy stemming from the survey, which was published on social media sites by non-students and drew more than 100 responses from unintended sources.
- SMU officials told the Dallas Morning News that the survey, which was published last fall, had drawn about 30 responses from campus members and zero complaints. "We’re not taking it down because we’re wrong, we’re taking it down because it wasn’t for everybody," said Maria Dixon Hall, a senior advisor in the SMU Office of the Provost.
- The survey, which was preceded by a disclaimer about strong and potentially offensive language, profiled questions stemming from etiquette and sensitivity around ethnic holiday observances to inquiries about physical characteristics.
Higher education has drawn a lot of attention about the ways colleges and universities tackle race and identity, from angles of cultural infusion, like Georgia State University’s growth as the largest producer of African American college graduates in the country, to the growing number of diversity officers being tapped for presidential roles at campuses nationwide.
It is clear that students are more interested in genuine forms of diversity and inclusion, as outlined in a recent survey from Gallup and the Knight Foundation where a majority of respondents indicated that some free speech should be sacrificed in order to promote more inclusive campus environments. But how to arrive at the point where all campus stakeholders can understand and appreciate expansion efforts, at many institutions, remains a work in progress.
- Dallas Morning News SMU survey's provocative questions on race were aimed at fostering positive conversations, school says
- New York Times Georgia State, leading U.S. in black graduates, is engine of social mobility
- Education Dive Free speech or inclusion? New survey finds students want more inclusion