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Civil Rights Sparks Interest on College Campuses

Martin Luther King Jr. speaking to anti-Vietnam rally on April 27, 1967 at the University of Minnesota.

Recently at prestigious colleges, racial profiling incidents have appeared across campuses in the United States, including prestigious colleges such as Yale University and Ithaca College. Due to recent events regarding race, colleges and universities such as these have experienced backlash regarding these racial incidents and the ensuing inaction of administration at these institutions.

At Ithaca, students, led by a group called “People of Color”, staged a walkout, where the student activists laid on the campus to protest against the college president, Tom Rochon. Recently on the campus, two students of color were at a Resident Assistant training session and received racial offensive remarks made by the campus Public Safety Officers at the session. After students found out about the incidents, many students were infuriated due to the lack of responses and actions from the president.

On Halloween at Yale, Sophomore, Neema Githere, faced racial discrimination when Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity turned away her and a group of girls because of their race, implementing a “white girls only” policy at a party. This then led to a meeting at the Afro American Cultural Center where female students revealed and describe discrimination and sexual harassment they had received from white male students.

Former Prince George student, Nicole Daly, who is currently attending Yale, explains how she feels about racism on campus and her views on Yale’s diversity:

“I am saddened when I see students, those of whom who have felt the effects of racism personally, uncomfortable at their own university.  At the same time, I am inspired by the conversations they have initiated, which have been echoed across the nation.  The university setting is ideal for these conversations to be taking place because college campuses are intellectual environments in which these very real issues of institutional racism are both evident and can be resolved through academic dialogue,” said Daly.

Though Daly feels grief toward racism on college campuses, she is looking forward to the progress that is soon to come out of it.

“I am upset that I see a lack of diversity within the Yale faculty (and Yale’s failed retention efforts towards faculty of color), under-resourced cultural houses, and, from some within Yale and from the outside, a failure to acknowledge that these issues exist. But, I am hopeful that we will make progress not only as an institution, but as a nation.” said Daly.


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