08/21/2012 03:27 pm ET Updated Oct 21, 2012

The Pursuit of Campus Diversity

For years, the topic of education has been the header of many political debates. It has already been previously established that education is a right that should be granted to everyone regardless of his or her socio-economic background. Since the Civil Rights Era, students, parents, and educators alike have agreed that campus diversity plays an integral role within society. That is, the diversity of a community contributes to personal and social growth, it creates a sense of understanding, and brings diverse groups of people together for the pursuit of a common goal: higher education.

In 2008, undergraduate Abigail Fisher was not accepted into University of Texas because of the fact that aside from falling short of the top ten percent threshold, she did not meet the criteria of the university in terms of leadership, family circumstances, and lastly, race. Fisher felt that she was being discriminated upon because she was white, and from there opened up the case of Fisher vs. The University of Texas, in which claimed the current admission policy unconstitutional. Later on this year, the U.S. Supreme Court will set upon a final decision that could or could not rule the current admission policy unconstitutional.

As a first generation Filipino-American senior in high school, one of my priorities in choosing a school was campus diversity. Later on in the spring, I found myself at the University of California, Santa Cruz, a school which prides itself on reflecting the diverse demographics of California as a whole. In the year that I have spent here in Santa Cruz, I feel as though the university has in a way fulfilled its mission as I have gotten the opportunity to make so many different friends from various racial and socio-economic backgrounds who all have been able to give me new perspectives on life. At the same time diverse, I felt as though it was a completely inclusive and friendly environment, a kind of environment that everyone should get the chance to experience. That is why I feel as though universities should continue in their pursuit of campus diversity, to make everyone feel as though they belong and to build stronger student communities.

Of the many organizations that thrive to uphold campus diversity is the United States Student Association, whose mission statement is to "develop current and future leaders and amplifies the student voice at the local, state, and national levels by mobilizing grassroots power to win concrete victories on student issues." To get involved and to hear more testimonials on what campus diversity means to other students around the nation, you can go to their website at

By Marinel Yoro, University of California, Santa Cruz