If Notre Dame wanted to change its mascot, it could replace the Fighting Leprechaun with a white kid wearing a crucifix-roughly 80 percent of the student population is white and Catholic. Nevertheless, the University is continuously attempting to reach out and attract minority students. Quite a few minority students do choose to attend Notre Dame, and many minority groups band together in alliances that act as celebrations of ethnicity. While these events are popular and promote ethnic understanding among students, everyone agrees that the University is trudging along a long and winding road to diversity.
At Notre Dame, the ratio of white students to minority students is 35 to 1. This lack of diversity is one of Notre Dame's greatest weaknesses. No matter how diligently the University wrestles with this weakness, its success in attracting minority students has always been marginal. Although Notre Dame is not a campus that promotes discrimination, many non-white students may sometimes feel out of place. The ethnic alliances provide minority students with some comfort, but, despite this, the University receives low marks for diversity.