As racial discrimination continues to rise in the height of the nationwide protests against police brutality, a bunch of local African American college students is stepping up to address racism at PWIs.
Students from Arcadia University are condemning school officials for not doing enough to address racial discrimination on campus after a former student, Salma Bah takes to Instagram to expose multiple sports teams for racism.
In each post, students called out the school’s Lacrosse and baseball team for allegedly partaking in racist hazing rituals used to intimidate and make fun of black students on campus.
“There was a hazing event held on Martin Luther King Day. For one of the scavenger hunts, the baseball players would get drunk and have rookies go up to black people saying happy Martin Luther King Day N*gger,” said one anonymous student.
Students also recalled times during their 2019-2020 semester where teams would hold whites-only parties, where they would kick students out for being black.
“It makes me upset because I didn’t get a real university experience because I always had to have my guard up. As a black woman, it makes it so much harder to navigate in these spaces,” said Bah.
Bah, who was also a member of the student-led women’s group P.O.W.E.R, posted over 40 screenshots from student’s accounts of racism, homophobia, and sexual assault on campus.
Although Arcadia has a zero-tolerance policy against discrimination, none of the students involved were expelled for harassing and bullying students.
Instead, the university would respond by briefly suspending the teams involved or lowering the school’s civility flag- a tradition of Arcadia that promotes diversity while ironically ignoring the acts of bigotry on campus.
The school’s president, Dr. Ajay Nair, addressed the recent reports of racism by stating, “I feel a deep sense of failure as a leader because so many of you are recounting stories of pain and agony felt for many, many years. As President and a member of this community, I must do everything in my power to lay the groundwork for systemic change in all realms of the institution.”
Nair also promises to hire more Black faculty members across departments in the university and conduct timely investigations of allegations of abuse, assault, and discrimination.
However, former student president, Elijah Wilson, says that while Nair’s promise of a diverse board of trustees is a step in the right direction, it’s simply not enough.
“Time and time again, you say we’re going to do this, we’re going to do that. I’m tired of the narrative that change doesn’t happen overnight. well, change doesn’t happen overnight when it pertains to black folks at predominately white institutions.”
Such Racial discrimination at PWIs poses a big question amongst Institutions nationwide.
How does racism on campus affect black-student enrollment?