Multicultural Day no longer planned

Thomas Hanson

The annual Multicultural Day that has been part of the Admissions Office calendar is not scheduled to continue at this time, raising questions and concerns.

In addition to the Ichabod Days that were regularly scheduled, Multicultural Days saw minority junior and senior high school students invited to campus for presentations, tours and engagement with faculty and students. The first multicultural recruitment day was back in 2016 where the reviews were overwhelmingly positive. Many of the high school visitors said that the day was great and it certainly helped them feel more comfortable in considering Washburn as a place to further their education.

While the event was the idea of Danielle Dempsey-Swopes, head of Diversity and Inclusion on campus, the Admissions Office was in charge of the execution of the event. When the event disappeared off the college calendar many were left wondering why such a successful event for engaging minority high school students would be cancelled. After discussing this with the Head of Washburn Admissions, Joseph Tinsley, the situation became more clear.

“It was transferred to the Office of Diversity and Inclusion whereby the process may be more streamlined,” said Tinsley.

With the responsibility being moved over to Diversity and Inclusion, Washburn Student Media contacted Danielle Dempsey-Swopes inquiring about action taken by her department to encourage and recruit minority students. She outlined some events aimed at getting more minority high school students onto campus.

“Our office recently partnered with Washburn Tech to host 30 students from the Topeka Boys and Girls Club on Oct. 11. The Office of Diversity and Inclusion is also working to produce two important upcoming visit days,” said Dempsey-Swopes. “We are partnering with admissions to host 80 middle school students from KIPP Academy on Nov. 14. We are also working with the College of Arts/Sciences and the GEARUP program at KU to host a day for 80 senior students from FL Schlagle High School in Kansas City on the week of Nov. 18.”

In response specifically to Multicultural Day and the Office of Diversity and Inclusion’s future plans to increase representation people of color and minority groups on campus, Dempsey-Swopes wanted to reassure students that individual multicultural outreach events will continue, even if the Multicultural Days we have known are not happening.

“I feel it is vital that we continue these outreach and recruitment programs. We may give them different names, and host different groups each semester, but we will continue to use our limited budget to reach out to schools and work with schools who contact us,” said Dempsey-Swopes.

The office has plans to coordinate events and engineer systems whereby people of color and other minority high school students may feel more comfortable in considering and selecting Washburn to help further their education. 

Edited by Jada Johnson, Adam White, Brianna Smith, Jackson Woods, Jessica Galvin