» Chapman Diversity Myths

This page is intended to address different myths and misperceptions about Chapman University in regards to diversity and inclusion. This page was created by the Communications and Perceptions Task Force, a part of the Chapman Diversity Project.

Myth: Chapman doesn’t care about diversity and inclusion.

Chapman University has a wide variety of resources dedicated to enhancing diversity and inclusion on its campus.

The Cross-Cultural Center opened in the spring of 2017. The mission of the center is guided by the Student Affairs Learning Outcome of A Value and Respect for Differences - students will learn to recognize, respect, and value diverse experiences, ideas, backgrounds, and identities.

Because we aspire for all students to develop this outcome, the Cross-Cultural Center is designed to be used by – and to enhance the development of – all Chapman students. We want students to gain greater insights into their own identity, develop a stronger sense of empathy for others' identities, and to use their learning to help create a more positive and inclusive Chapman community. To facilitate this student learning, we design programs and experiences intended to expose all students to diverse ideas and perspectives, affirm the value of our students from underrepresented identities, and support students who are in need of additional help.

The Chapman Diversity Project, sponsored by the Office of the Provost, which began in Fall of 2014, endeavors to bring students, staff, faculty, administrators and trustees together for meaningful dialogue focused on developing strategic priorities and recommendations for diversity and inclusion at Chapman.

Myth: Chapman students themselves don’t support diversity efforts.

Chapman students run a wide variety of diversity and inclusion clubs, including the Asian Pacific Student Association, Queer and Trans People of Color Collective, Black Student Union and Chapman Feminists. You can find a list of student diversity and cultural organization here. Aside from weekly meetings, these student organizations also host campus-wide events.

Students are also involved in The Cross-Cultural Center which is maintained by student staff supervised by staff members. The Chapman Diversity Project also includes student volunteers who are members and co-chairs of different committees.

Myth: Chapman is a school for rich white kids.

86% of Chapman University students receive financial aid. You can find more information about affording Chapman here. While a majority of Chapman students identify as white, you can find the racial and ethnic breakdown of Chapman at DataMart.

Myth: Chapman is a Christian school.

The Fish Interfaith Center addressed this misperception in this statement from its website.

"Chapman University is not a Christian college, but a church-related school. We are related to two churches: for 150 years throughout the formation of the academic institution, we have been connected with The Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), and since 2011, also with The United Church of Christ. These particular churches give us a proud religious heritage, and value the dignity of all people and all religions.

The difference between being a Christian school and a school related to these churches is that a Christian school might require everyone to be of one religion, to attend weekly chapel, or to take courses in religion. Instead, Chapman University encourages each student to pursue his or her religious tradition or unique spiritual journey. And because we are church-related, every student’s spiritual life is important here!"

Myth: Chapman doesn’t reach out to the surrounding community.

There are many opportunities for engagement with the surrounding community at Chapman. These include the Paulo Freire Democratic Project, which is committed to the development of resources that can assist individuals, groups and collectives in their various efforts to improve their schools and communities and strengthen the democratic practices of state and federal governments. Chapman also engages with the local community through the Centro Comunitario de Educación, a vibrant learning location in Santa Ana where Chapman University faculty and students and community members engage in learning and working together. To find a list of local community partnerships, you can search the Chapman diversity website.

Myth: There are no engagement opportunities for diversity and inclusion inside or outside of the classroom. 

Along with its many different programs hosted throughout the year, The Cross-Cultural Center offers seven different trainings though their Breaking Ground program. The trainings are:

  • Safe Space (LGBTQIA+)
  • Words Have Power (Inclusive Language)
  • Chapman Demographics
  • Disability Awareness
  • Facilitation 101
  • Facing Race
  • Confronting Class

You can explore a list of different academic programs and resources related to diversity and inclusion.