Southwestern Welcomes Diverse Class of 2011

The Diverse Class of 2011 - Alex Hall

Written by Taylor Garcia

This year’s freshman class is the first to break several records, with more out-of-state students than in years past and more minority enrollments in the history of the university.

The following statistics are considered official until the twelfth day of classes, at which point some of the information is subject to change. Nevertheless, the numbers are intriguing.

Last year’s freshman class of 2011 had 371 first year students. According to the current count 349 first-year students checked in this fall.

This year the freshman class represents 21 states and five foreign countries. Eleven percent of the class comes from out of state, which is the highest percent the school has had in over a decade. The student body as a whole last year had a ninety-four percentage of students from Texas, with a sixth percentage of students from other states and nations. Thirty-seven states and nine nations are represented at the school.

Just one of the out of state students is Mallory Forsyth who first heard about the school when she received information through the mail.

“I didn’t really think there were any good, small liberal arts schools in Kansas. Plus, I didn’t want to be too close to home,” Forsyth said.

Forsyth said the graduating class at her public high school had about 530 students, but the size change was enjoyable for her.

“I like it. I like how the campus is small and that there are not very many people here,” she said.

Southwestern is between eleven and twelve hours away from her home town of Olathe, Kansas.

“My favorite part about SU is living in Kurth. Everyone on the hall is so nice and we always hang out together,” she said.

In- state students however are still by far the majority with 89 percent of the student body coming from a Texas high school. One student from such a school is Hayley Hervieux, an English major from Sugarland, TX. She attended a small, private school called Fort Bend Baptist Academy.

“I chose Southwestern because I got accepted and I got a scholarship, because the mascot is a pirate, and because it was close enough to home, but not too close. Also, I knew it was a good school,” she said.
Hervieux says she enjoys her classes here.

“I like my First-year Seminar and taking organ lessons. I like the campus because it’s pretty and I love the pirate bikes,” she said.

Choosing a favorite thing about Southwestern is tricky, but like Forsyth, Hervieux says she loves her living situation.

“I like my hallway and I like that it was so easy to make friends,” she said.

This year’s freshman class is 38 percent male and 62 percent female.

First year student Eric Godat graduated from an inner-city Dallas public school that had a graduating class of 215 students.

“I decided on Southwestern because they gave me a substantial scholarship,” he said.

Additionally, coming from a school that did not have any baseball fields, his greatest excitement about the school is the field here and the team.

“I think I can make the baseball team here,” the physical science major said.

26 percent of this year’s class is of minority background, which is the largest percent in the university’s history. The previous year the percentage of minorities was 23 percent of the student body.

First- year student Adrian Gonzalez came from an experimental public high school in Houston, TX called Quest High School.

“I chose Southwestern because it was the only school I applied to that offered the major I wanted: Bachelor of Fine Arts as a professional theater degree,” he said.

Like so many other first years, Gonzalez is enjoying the dorm life on campus.

“I like that it feels like a home away from home,” he said.

Finally, although this particular statistic is open to wide interpretation due to the difficulty in defining the category, Southwestern has not traditionally drawn large numbers of students that were previously home-schooled, but this year we welcome three home-school students to the campus population.

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2 Responses to Southwestern Welcomes Diverse Class of 2011

  1. Anonymous says:

    I really wish that the picture for the article reflected the title. I understand the “diversity” is not restricted to race, however, at first glance it is assumed that this is what the article is about.

    On the other hand, I’d love to read an article about Southwester’s Diversity efforts. Many student organizations and staff in Admissions are working hard to make our campus diverse (racially). I think it is important to let the student body know that the school and its students are taking an active interest in diversity and that as a Private Liberal Arts college we are more diverse than others.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Southwestern University promotes diversity; however, do the clubs and organizations on campus embrace diversity. 25% of the student population are minorities. Take a good look at the pledge classes of the Greeks. Do they reflect that same diversity? Even if a smaller portion of the ethnically diverse wanted to pledge a greek organization, was that same ratio offered bids? Racism is alive on campus. Look at the numbers.

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