More students from diverse backgrounds attending Oswego State

Through the admission of the Fall 2014 freshman class, Oswego State has shown an increase in the diversity of student enrollment.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the number of Latin Americans in New York state, the largest minority group, made up an estimated 18.4 percent of the population in 2013, up from 17.6 percent in 2010. As the population in the northeast and New York state becomes more diverse, naturally the population in college campuses becomes more diverse, including the population Oswego State. Applications from outside of central New York have shown an increase in admissions. Being that central New York is not as diverse, as the applicant pool has grown from further away and has diminished from central New York, the population has shown an increase in diversity from more diverse areas.

“I would like to think we do a nice job of promoting Oswego as a welcoming place where students from diverse backgrounds are embraced, welcomed and celebrated,” said Director of Admissions Daniel Griffin.

Last fall, about 65 of new students were from out-of-state and this year, 55 new students were from out-of-state, according to the Office of Admissions. Both are considered above average. Many international students are now on campus, including those from South Korea, China, India, Mongolia and other countries which add to the campus’s diversity.

Last year in admissions, nearly half of the applications they received were from underrepresented students. These underrepresented students can be defined as African American, Hispanic, Asian, Native American, Pacific Islanders and multi-racial.

According to the Office of Admissions, there were 374 new freshman this fall that were from underrepresented backgrounds, which is over 26 percent of the new freshman enrollment, and 137 new transfer students are from underrepresented backgrounds, making up over 18 percent of the new transfer students.

Junior Michael McKean agrees that Oswego State should be a diverse campus.

“Oswego has a lot of opportunities for specific cultures to interact with each other,” McKean said. “Oswego has a lot of student unions and fraternities and they also do the Global Awareness Conference and Around the World is a good way to experience different cultures in one setting.”

Oswego State does not consider race during the application process due to the amount of applications that they receive from underrepresented backgrounds. The Oswego State Admissions Office uses a holistic admission process, meaning that they consider everything.

“We consider a student’s background, we consider their talents, we consider their circumstances but race or ethnicity in and of itself isn’t a key in the admission process,” Griffin said. “It could be one of many factors that we consider. But now the way we do it, because we have grown our applicant pool and the applicant pool has become in and of itself diverse, then the admission and enrollment process come naturally.”

According to Griffin, admissions consider the campus diversity not only as race or ethnicity, but in the different diverse culture that Oswego State offers. This includes the diversity of the academic offerings and the different clubs and organizations, as well as what separates Oswego State from other colleges especially in the SUNY system. The faculty and staff also come from diverse backgrounds which ultimately add to Oswego’s culture. Admissions reveals that this type of diverse campus community makes it easier for them to enroll a more diverse group of students because they are more inclined to find something here that they feel comfortable, connect with or find an interest in.

“The campus reflects our society” Griffin said. “We want to prepare students for the real world and in the real world they are going to be rubbing elbows with all kinds of people, from all kinds of backgrounds. It is a global society now, everything is online, the walls and barriers are broken down  and…if you look at the conflicts happening today, I think the more we can do to help each other understand different cultures and perspectives and be accepting of those different cultures and perspectives, the better off we are. The diversity of this place and the interactions that it will lead to with the conversations and understanding that will be had …I think it is an awesome opportunity for our students.”