GWU Black Student Union 'recommendation' prompts campuswide 'diversity audit'

George Washington University in Washington, D.C. recently announced a campuswide "diversity audit."

The announcement came after the Black Student Union made a "recommendation," according to the school.

George Washington University in Washington, D.C. announced it will hire an external firm to perform its first-ever “diversity audit.” The findings of this audit will be used to reform areas on campus inside and outside of the classroom, such as student events and athletics. Target areas will include faculty composition, financial aid, and campus police relations.

University officials said they are conducting the audit in order to create a “diversity action plan” that includes “goals, action items, and regular assessments” to track progress on campus and in the community. The university’s announcement noted that the audit “follows a recent recommendation from the Black Student Union, and it will assess diversity in all its forms on our campuses.” 

The findings in the audit will be used to change hiring policies and increase diversity among faculty. The new policies will “strengthen opportunities for diverse candidates” through new hiring requirements, search committees and interviewers, according to the GW Hatchet

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Information collected in the audit will also be used to review financial aid policies and strengthen the relationship between the GW Police Department and the community, “especially” students of color. 

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“Our continued commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion is critical to our University’s future and the impact of our teaching and research on the world,” the release states.

Devon Bradley, the president of the Black Student Union, said he expects the audit to uncover “a lot of areas for improvement” including a lack of diversity in faculty and financial aid. 

Bradley added that he hopes the audit inspires officials to hire a more diverse faculty. 

“What I’m really hoping to see is a significant increase in Black faculty in response to this and in Black counselors, Black mental health physicians, just more minorities in positions of power and influence on campus,” he said.

The search for a firm to conduct the audit was set to take place over the course of a few weeks, with input from student groups on which firms they think are most fit to conduct the audit.

Follow the author of this article: Addison Pummill