US, MSU see increase in multiracial students

Posted in Articles, Campus Life, Census/Demographics, Latino Studies, Media Archive, United States on 2011-02-08 05:27Z by Steven

US, MSU see increase in multiracial students

The State News
East Lansing, Michigan

Emily Wilkins

They call her “blackbean” – half black, half Mexican.

It’s a nickname embraced by Lynette Davidson, a political theory and constitutional democracy and communication sophomore and one of the 710 students at MSU who identifies with two or more races. Davidson’s mother is Mexican, her father is black.

Davidson is part of a growing number of college students who identify as biracial or multiracial.

MSU [Michigan State University] did not offer two or more races as a choice for students on university documents until fall 2010, so it is unknown how this number has changed during the past several years. However, the number of people in the U.S. who identify with two or more races is growing. Data from the U.S. Census shows between 2004-09, 838,000 babies were born with two or more races, an increase of more than 100,000 from the number born between 2000-04, which also increased from the five-year period prior.

Davidson said she does not fully feel like she belongs in black or Mexican student organizations.

“I never really identify with either of them,” Davidson said. “I grew up in a predominately white area.”

Students such as Davidson are not alone, but they do not represent the feeling of all multiracial students…

Kristen Renn is an associate professor of higher, adult and lifelong education who has written a book about multiracial college students. Renn said not all racial groups are open to multiracial members, and a person’s acceptance and comfort level within a group is based on multiple things.

“Sometimes it has to do (with) a way a student looks,” Renn said. “(For example) it looks to the outside world that they are Asian, but they might have grown up in a household that didn’t celebrate a lot of Asian holidays or have a lot of Asian food. (They) come to campus and find themselves outside (Asian) student culture.”…

Read the entire article here.

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