Buffalo State College students’ thoughts on diversity of student population

SUNY Buffalo State College students study at the E.H. Butler Library.

Amnah Mohsin

SUNY Buffalo State College students study at the E.H. Butler Library.

Amnah Mohsin, Contributing Writer

SUNY Buffalo State College students said that diversity on campus has given them new perspectives on cultures and shaped their view of students.

Elijah Robinson, a senior at Buffalo State majoring in journalism and minoring in writing, said that the college prioritizes diversity on campus and succeeds at making everyone feel included as a community.

“I think it [Buffalo State] represents it [diversity] pretty well, and that’s coming in terms of the workforce and the programs offered to give support to minority groups and all around it represents the city college that Buffalo State is with the variety of students there are, as well as the variety of faculty,” Robinson said.

Buffalo State offers a variety of academic programs such as women and gender, Africana and Indigenous studies.

“Taking into consideration different perspectives in life is fundamental towards having empathy towards one another. If you’re not exposed to people outside of yourself, then you’re going to have a hard time seeing them as human or acknowledging their presence,” Robinson said.

Cait Malilay, a senior transfer student majoring in English and Journalism, was drawn to Buffalo State because of its inclusive environment. She said that the campus is welcoming to all cultures and walks of life.

“Diversity is important to me because you get perspectives on various cultures, and I think that’s really important whether I’d be ethnic, LGBTQ+, male or female perspectives,” Malilay said.

According to the Buffalo State Demographics and Diversity Report, Buffalo State ranks 1,045 out of 3,514 in overall diversity ranking among schools, which is higher than the national average.

Robinson said diversity adds a new dimension to the American narrative, which has largely focused on one side.

He said Buffalo has yet to reckon with the racially driven issues aimed at the city.

“It [Buffalo] still has a lot more to go, as far as being more diverse, because prior to being diverse is having empathy, and you can’t have empathy if a certain group is living a less quality of life than others are,” Robinson said. “What is it worth if there’s still some people of a certain group who are disproportionately mistreated?”

As in the workplace, there is no inherent animosity between college students, according to Robinson, which is a “boom for education.”

“You’re even more aware of bias and prejudice that maybe has been inside you and you’d know how to control it. I would say people of all different backgrounds get along really well here [Buffalo State],” he said.