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Race on Campus: Book Discussion Series

Library staff professional development book discussion

Race on Campus - Library Book Discussion Series, Fall 2019

ebunking Myths with Data


Discussion Questions

Intro & Chapter 1

TOPIC: "What good is diversity if students don't mix?"

Discussion Facilitator: Susan Vega García

Meeting:  Weds., Aug. 14 LMT meeting

Please read the following & be prepared to discuss at our meeting:

  • Introduction -- pages 1-10

  • Chapter 1: Black Students & the Cafeteria: What's the Big Fuss? -- pages 11-27

You can always read more of the book at any time, but these are the Chapters we will focus on in our discussions for today.

Discussion Questions

We may not get to all of these questions. They are useful guides for reflection and engaging with key content in the assigned chapters.

1. As discussed by Park, what is the "availability heuristic," and how does it impact our thinking?

  • What are the pros and cons of the availability heuristic?
  • When it comes to DEI issues, what are the dangers of relying on the availability heuristic, according to Park?

2. In the library we frequently see students sitting at the same tables studying together. 

  • According to the author, when students of color sit together, the typical assumptions in academia are that the students are "sticking together" and self-segregating. 
    • How does Park frame this (mis)perception, and what should we consider instead, according to Park?
  • ISU's undergraduate student body is 75% white, according to institutional data. How often do we see white students sitting at the same tables studying together?
    • Do we make assumptions about them? If so, what are they?

3. According to Park, how do the daily lives of students of color at a predominantly white institution (PWI) compare to those of white students? In what ways does participation in ethnic student organizations counter burdens of "existence proof" and microaggressions for students of color?

  • What proof(s) does the author provide to back up her conclusions?