Student Links Diversity and Liberal Arts Education

by Alex Keys

Quanta Taylor, now a junior at Transylvania, is part of a growing group of students dedicated to promoting diversity on campus.

Junior Quanta Taylor is a co-president of the Diversity Action Council with Senior Lece Webb.

As a double major in cultural studies and psychology and a double minor in Spanish and education, Taylor is academically inclined to pursue avenues that will nurture Transylvania into a culturally diverse educational institution. Long before choosing a degree path, however, Taylor’s personal experience influenced this particular passion.
A native Lexingtonian, Taylor graduated from Brian Station High School, where many of his fellow minority students did not apply to Transylvania University as a result of their financial situation and lack of knowledge regarding scholarship opportunities.

As the eldest of five children, this dilemma was one Taylor could relate to. Still, he decided to push past those hindrances and pursue a liberal arts education.
“I came to Transy and took a chance,” Taylor said. “I felt like this is where I want to be, no matter what the obstacle was.”

Once on campus, Taylor noticed a sense of ignorance on the manner in which actions and words affected other people, including ethnic minorities. Over time, he became involved with the pro-diversity groups on Transylvania’s campus. Taylor is currently the director of academics for the Black Student Alliance and a co-president of the Diversity Action Council, along with senior Lécé Webb.

This June — with support from the Student Government Association, Dean of Students Michael Vetter and President Shearer’s office — Taylor represented Transylvania, the DAC and the BSA at the 23rd annual National Conference on Race and Ethnicity in American Higher Education. At NCORE, Taylor learned about tactics other colleges have applied to increase minority recruitment on campus. After the convention, he compiled a presentation to highlight strategies that might be applied productively at Transylvania.

“There is a lot of potential at Transy, and I think students will be interested if we get it out there,” Taylor said.

While he feels there is a lot of work to be done on campus in the area of diversity development, Taylor is elated that “communication lines are clearly open between both sides of Broadway.”

Currently, the DAC and the BSA are working on obtaining funds to sponsor more diversity-promoting events around campus for both current and potential Transylvania students.

“Once we work on getting numbers here, the classroom climate will change,” Taylor said.

For the time being, Taylor will continue working with the DAC and the BSA to take small steps towards a more diverse campus.

“I’m really encouraged by the amount of support coming from the academic side of campus,” said Taylor, “and I’m encouraged by the freshman class’s ideas for (the) DAC.”

If you are interested in joining the DAC or learning more about the organization’s efforts, the council meets biweekly on Thursdays at 6:15 p.m. in Conference Room A in the Campus Center.


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