Students at Western Michigan University (WMU) reflect a diverse culture of learners who are encouraged to develop a cultural understanding of each other. WMU offers courses, campus activities, services, and offices of diversity and institutional equity to provide a culturally inclusive learning environment, while providing support for students who have been historically marginalized. Though WMU has provided students with such spaces, more should be done to integrate diversity and inclusion in all departments on campus.
Faculty, instructors, and staff are expected to educate, assist, and support students with a high level of cultural awareness and understanding. In predominantly white institutions, this standard may not be enforced, therefore students of color are often marginalized and expected to assimilate in order to get their needs met when interacting with dominant culture. Incompetent faculty, instructors, and staff harm the learning space when they fail to receive the proper training to work with diverse groups of students. Holding administration to higher standards of cultural awareness and recruiting more faculty, instructors, and staff of color will inspire a culture on campus that is intentional about meeting the needs of all students.
White supremacy functions to maintain the status quo and disregard the institutionalized presence of hegemony in predominantly white institutions. This kind of power situated in higher education often gets overlooked; particularly when color-blind practices are encouraged in the college classroom. Critically interrogating power and privilege by addressing white privilege and engaging in race-related discourse on campus is an important initiative that will help reduce critical race incidents, increase racial literacy, and foster anti-racist practice in higher education.