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Vol. 8 No. 2 (2022): Special Edition on Latina/o/x Postsecondary Education

Shallow Inclusion: How Latinx Students Experience A Predominantly White Institution “Doing Diversity Work”

  • Rosalie Rolón-Dow
  • Rebecca Covarrubias
  • Carla Guerrón Montero
August 19, 2022


A university’s culture cycle includes institutional ideas around racial/ethnic diversity that inform institutional practices and norms, which shape daily interactions and individual experiences of students. Using qualitative methods, we explore how Latinx students experience these elements of campus culture at a Predominantly White Institution (PWI) publicly committing to engaging in diversity work. We examine the university’s ideas and institutional practices and compare them with the interactions and individual experiences of students. We discuss what Latinx students’ experiences reveal about how the university’s culture cycle considers and promotes the inclusion of Latinx perspectives, experiences, cultural traditions, histories, and challenges. We supplement our understanding of the culture cycle model with elements of Latinx Critical Race Theory (LatCrit) to account for the pervasive influence of race and racism. We conclude that a race-informed Latinx cultural consciousness is only present in shallow ways within the culture cycle of the university studied. To facilitate an understanding of Latinx student perspectives, meaningfully serve Latinx students, and extend the benefits of diversity to all students, a Latinx cultural consciousness must be infused in all phases of the culture cycle.