April 14, 2017
Work to be done
The University of Washington boast on being a diverse campus. I mean look at the stats! American Indian or Alaskan native (0.5%), Asian (23%), Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander (0.4%), Black or African American (2.5%), Hispanic/Latino (6.9%), White (42.6%), Two or More Races (6.2%), Race/Ethnicity Unknown (3.6%), and Non-Resident Alien (14.2%). These statistics, however, only tells one side of the story.
Even though Whites makes up for only 43% of the school, they still dominate Greek Row. Stories of minorities dealing with racism on campus are still without a platform. Two business students from the Michael G. Foster School of Business were told to “Go back to your country” and were called “Chinks” from strangers on the Ave. A student in the business school was told that he had an accent and therefore, cannot be successful in Business Communications. A Muslim student had her Hijab pulled. A staff had accused a Latina student of plagiarizing because her essay was “too good” for her vocabulary. But where are these stories on campus? Imagine the number of other narratives that are not being brought up into discussions.
Not to take away anything from the University of Washington, it certainly tries its best to promote diversity. We have student RSOs that constantly promote diversity, we have staff members who care about the students’s personal college experience, and we have students taking their time off studying to constantly bring and raise their voices, speaking about the things that needs change on campus such as: why is the diversity credit requirement only has a minimum of three credits? Three credits does not even equates to a regular five credit class. Is the diversity requirements not worth a class?
This serves as a reminder that racism is not a thing of the past. It has evolved from the verbal/explicit form into a more subtle form: systemic & structural racism. This serves as a reminder that us as POCs have a lot more to go.