The Delta Xi Phi Multicultural Sorority and the Office of Student Development's Intercultural Programs sponsored "Seeing Beyond the Lines of Color," a forum on interracial dating in the Outspoken discussion series on Wednesday. Panelists included Marquette students who are or have been in interracial relationships.
Associate professor of sociology Roberta Coles was on the panel, and she said men are more likely to date interracially, but less likely to get married to a person of a different race. It's more plausible, Coles said, for women to tie the knot.
Coles said white Americans are least likely to marry interracially, though the majority of interracial relationships involve a white person.
Interracial dating is largely done on an experimental level, she said. Non-Catholics and urban dwellers are more likely to date a person of a different race. People from California are also more likely to be involved in an interracial relationship, she said.
There are opportunities to begin a relationship when a potential couple is living close together, so the proximity of people to one another also influences interracial relationships, Coles said. It would seem that college could be a place to see these relationships taking ground, but students who attended the event said they don't see that at Marquette.
"Marquette doesn't have a wide range of diversity to make interracial dating possible," said Anahi Sanchez, a sophomore in the College of Arts & Sciences.
Mai Yee Xiong, a junior in the College of Arts & Sciences, agreed, saying she hasn't seen interracial relationships around campus, but believes that students would be "accepting" if they saw such relationships.
Student panelists recalled poor treatment in public such as staring, and on a closer-to-home level, they said they felt family oppression and the diminishing of their social networks.