Statement on Diversity
Dickinson is deeply committed to diversity. Thirteen percent of our most recent incoming class is students of color. In fall 2009, 145 international students from 41 countries were enrolled at Dickinson. Nine percent of our faculty members and seven percent of our administrative and service staff are persons of color.
Diversity in Student Life
There are a number of student groups dedicated to the concerns of diversity and social justice. These include Abolish, Active Minds, African American Society (AAS), Amnesty International, Asian Social Interest Association (ASIA), Circolo Italiano (Italian Club), Club Afrique, Dickinson Desi Association, Earth Now!, Feminist Collective, French Club, German Club, Hillel, Interfaith, Latin American Club (LAC), Middle Eastern Club (MEC), Muslim Students Association (MSA), Newman Club, Portuguese Club, Russian Culture Club, South Asian Student Association, Spanish Club, Spectrum, Students for Social Action (SSA), Sustained Dialogue, Third Degree Steppers, and Umoja. In addition, the Women's Center, the Office of Diversity Initiatives (ODI) and the Office of LGBTQ Services are open to the entire Dickinson community and charged with advancing Dickinson's commitment to broadening the understanding of - and building - a pluralistic society that promotes equality and integrity on the campus, in the community and the world. The Milton B. Asbell Center for Jewish Life, established in 2002, provides a central space for Jewish students to meet, socialize, celebrate the Sabbath and other Jewish holidays, take classes with visiting rabbis, and host interfaith dialogues with other religious groups on campus.
Diversity in the Curriculum
The college's curriculum reflects a strong focus on issues of diversity defined in terms both of domestic and of global diversity. All students at Dickinson are required to take at least one course in U.S. Cultural Diversity in order to graduate. They must also complete one course in Comparative Civilizations (the study of a culture other than that of the West) and become proficient in a foreign language. Dickinson's Community Studies Center also promotes diversity through fieldwork research projects that take Dickinson students into diverse cultures and environments within and outside the United States. Among the center's program are the American Mosaic, in which students devote an entire semester to community-oriented fieldwork, and the Global Mosaic, which extends fieldwork abroad. Overall, more than half of the class of 2010 studied in a foreign country during their four years at Dickinson. Dickinson's Center for Global Study and Engagement offers students opportunities to study in Africa, Central America and Asia as well as the traditional programs in Europe. In addition, Dickinson's grant from the Freeman Foundation established a new professorship in Asian law and culture that takes a leadership role in advancing Asian Studies and infusing Asian and comparative materials into course work in other departments.
Diversity in Academic Resources
Dickinson has devoted significant academic resources to diversity. The Waidner-Spahr Library boasts one of the largest private collections of Asian Studies in the country, the Norman and Margaret Jacobs Collection. The collection includes more than 20,000 volumes covering China, Japan, Korea, Vietnam, Thailand, India and other Asian countries. The library also has an East Asian Reading Room with its own dedicated computer terminal, special reading materials, and Asian artifacts. The Trout Gallery possesses a substantial collection of African Art totaling slightly more than 600 pieces. The pieces represent a wide swath of Africa including Ethiopia, the Sepik River region, the Upper Volta, Burkina Fasso, Mali, Sudan, the Ivory Coast, Angola, Tanzania, Ghana, Benin and other countries within Africa. The collections include various cultural materials such as sculptures, textiles, baskets, pottery, masks and archeological materials.