We need to continue creating a more diverse space that is safe for Black Americans on the University of Nebraska-Lincoln campus. Almost 75% of the student body is white, while 2.6% of the student body is Black. Even though we have resources readily available at the Jackie Gaughan Multicultural Center and scholarships for minorities, why is the majority of our student population still white? 

Some researchers argue that the academic achievement gap causes this –– and starts young, from grades K-12. The academic achievement gap persists between white and Black students, as white students tend to outperform Black students. Attributions to this are racism, socioeconomic status and availability of resources. For example, from a 2015 poll conducted by the JED Foundation, the Partnership for Drug Free Kids and the Jordan Porco Foundation, Black students are more likely to keep their feelings about the difficulty of college to themselves compared to white students. 

According to Halualani & Associates, which examined UNL’s diversity efforts in 2017, public schools aren’t alone in the gap –– UNL has continuously been making an intrinsic effort to create events that revolve around diversity intervention. These proceedings include an active appreciation of cultural groups, giving a voice to minority perspectives, and providing a safe space for underrepresented groups. These include trainings, workshops and student clubs that help minorities on campus. 

Right now, there’s individual counseling at the Jackie Gaughan Multicultural Center through Counseling and Psychological Services with Brothers United and Dish It Up. Even though UNL is striving to provide resources to close this gap, we must continue to find strategies to narrow down the academic achievement gap.