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Protests and demands still all the rage these days on college campuses. Any reason will do really. And at UMass Amherst this week they chose to go after the Commonwealth Honors College, because only 5% of the students in that particular college are black. Just so you have some background, the Honors College is in a newly developed part of campus with really nice dorms.
To get in you have to have insanely good grades. Basically it gets top notch students to come to UMass instead of wasting their money going to places like BU. Here’s why this became the focus of the latest hippie campus protest:
The rally began at the center of the Commonwealth Honors College area with organizers and honors students commenting on the severe lack of diversity and racial sensitivity within the honors college. Many of the organizers, who themselves are honors students, were vocal about their feelings of isolation while living in the area. Noel spoke of his time living in both Oak and Birch Halls. He recounted a story of being called a racial slur by another student while onlookers laughed.
“CHC has an issue with diversity,” Noel said. He continued by saying that less than 25 of the 500 students living in Oak and Sycamore – the two freshman dorms in the honors college – are black.
“Where are my black scholars?” another protester said.
The walkout, which took place outside of Roots Café, featured other speakers who shared stories of racial inequality and a lack of diversity on campus. The issue of racism on the campus was framed as stemming from the lack of diversity. After speakers had a chance to share their experiences, the organizers of the event began to change locations. The crowd, which was comprised of students of many races, joined in chants of “If we don’t get no justice, we don’t get no peace,” and other calls for action.
The group walked through the Honors College, as students watched intently from their windows. From there, Tchouanguem, a policy advocator for Student Bridges, led the group with a megaphone in hand toward the W.E.B. DuBois Library. The group gathered in the lobby and marched through the ground floor repeating their calls for action. The walkout continued to the Student Union Building and the Campus Center before making its final stop at the Whitmore Administration Building, home of the Chancellor’s office.
Stacy Tchouanguem, who took the lead in speaking to Kennedy along with Zareb Noel, said little progress has been made since she arrived on campus four years ago and demanded an immediate outline of steps the University has taken to increase diversity and transparency between administration and minorities on campus.
The Chancellor also admitted the University has fallen behind in certain areas and issued two immediate plans of action. The first was the immediate allocation of funds to both graduate and undergraduate student government organizations to allow for funding of organizations that promote diversity, while the second implemented an initiative as part of the University of Massachusetts Amherst Diversity Strategic Plan, to monitor the progress of diversity efforts undertaken by UMass.
Demands. Marches through libraries. Alleged anecdotes of 60’s style racism that are taken as fact. All these things are so hot on college campuses across America. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – colleges did this to themselves by giving into these whiny naninburgers. What we need are college presidents who tell these entitled, privileged, whiny little babies the truth – if you think we’re racist monsters here, go somewhere else. See ya later.
But instead they kiss their asses and form “diversity strategic plans” and start funneling more money into organizations that “promote diversity” – whatever that means.
Look, diversity is a great thing. I’m a product of the Worcester Public Schools and I genuinely think exposure to diversity helps shape your world perspective. But the Honor’s College isn’t 5% black because their admissions process is racist. It’s 5% black because those were the only students of color who met their rigorous requirements for admittance. What are they supposed to do? Lower their standards for students of color so more can get in? Isn’t it even more racist to tell black students that you’re lowering the bar for them in order to increase diversity?
Oh yea, and did I mention that 5% of the entire student body at UMass is black? Which means the Honor’s College’s black population is exactly proportional to the rest of the campus.
But then again, these are facts. And facts are stupid things that get in the way of a good protest. Now give me the megaphone and sign my list of demands or I’m gonna march through the library and make sure you can’t study!!!
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