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Abstract

Black undergraduate students at elite universities are continuously advocating for greater representation and support. Recently, these discussions of diversity and representation at elite universities have become far more nuanced. This is due to the growing relevance of both racial and ethnic background to Black student experiences of belonging and support. The University of Chicago (UChicago) is no exception. A case study conducted at the University found that while ethnic background does influence Black students’ feelings of belonging and support, it was not the most determinant factor of Black students’ experiences at and perceptions of UChicago. Rather, these discussions of ethnic background and feelings of underrepresentation revolved around how Black students positioned themselves in relation to UChicago's predominantly white non-Black campus and administration. In interrogating differences in how UChicago as an organization understands Black students and their needs, and how Black students understand their experiences and needs this project was able to consider potential remedies.

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