Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Leadership Studies

First Advisor

Crystal L. Hoyt, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Nathan Snaza, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Volha Chykina, Ph.D.


Although there is much literature highlighting the instrumental benefits of diversity (Gurin et al., 2002; Gurin et al., 2004; Hurtado,2006; Jayakumar,2008), little research focuses on the effects of diversity that arise because of moral rationales for diversity. Expanding into the question of diversity rationale’s effect, we in this study measured the relationship between institutional rationales for diversity and undergraduate students’ perceived feelings of belonging. Using one-tailed multivariate analysis of variance (N=257), our results show that the moral rationale for diversity has more beneficial outcomes for undergraduate students, regardless of their race or ethnicity. More specifically, our analyses show that undergraduate students attending an institution that affirms the moral rationale for diversity would perceive themselves to have a greater sense of belonging and a greater sense of identity safety. Results of this study further indicate that institutions ascribing to the moral rationale for diversity would be perceived as better at promoting diversity, as evidenced by a lower presence of discrimination and a more significant number of campus community members identifying prejudiced incidents as discriminatory. As collegiate institutions become more diverse, institutional leaders, policymakers must engage efforts that actively promote diversity, equity, and inclusion in a way that transforms campus cultures and climates. The results of this study offer a compelling way to move towards these actions.