In these days of racial reckoning, one would think that NAU would have an interest in addressing concerns on this topic. In the past few months, I have talked to two administrators and one community liaison. I expressed my concerns in regards to a lack of racial diversity in the student/professor banners displayed on campus and asked them to take a look and then get back to me with their perspective. None of them had the professional courtesy to get back to me.
My specific concern is that the banners overwhelmingly depict white students/professors. With the exception of two banners, Black students are depicted in the realm of athletics. There was a banner depicting a Black female student in an academic setting but that has been replaced by a white student. There was a banner showing two students, one Black and one white, walking together. That has been replaced with a picture of two white students. There are no longer any banners with Black women outside of athletics.
During my conversation with the community liaison, she said words to the effect that the NAU student population was predominantly white and that they had to be careful not over-represent Black students in recruitment materials. The reason was that they didn’t want Black students to believe there was a large Black community at NAU and then be disappointed. I would think a better idea is to work towards building a more diverse student body rather than just accepting the status quo.