Fight to ensure Equity & Access @Temple University for Black, Latinx, other POC applicants

Fight to ensure Equity & Access @Temple University for Black, Latinx, other POC applicants

July 1, 2021
Signatures: 61Next Goal: 100
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Why this petition matters

Started by ty will

My name is Tyree Williams, I have started this petition because I believe that Temple University has engaged in discriminatory and problematic practices which negatively impact the admission of Black, Latino, and other HISTORICALLY EXCLUDED student groups from Philadelphia and nationwide, as well as Black and other POC staff working at the university.

I believe it is important to make others aware as well in the hope that this will bring about changes which will bring about equitable decision making which would allow for transparency in the future.

I was employed as the Assistant Director of Multicultural Student Recruitment at Temple from December 2016 until May 2019. During my tenure I attempted to work through the official channels of the University as I advocated for changes that would allow me, and by extension Temple, to truly work to help increase overall diversity on campus. Most of these efforts were dismissed, ignored, not properly supported, or I was provided with an excuse to justify not moving forward with initiatives/efforts. 

Ultimately, I believe I was fired in retaliation by the university for repeatedly speaking out about the mistreatment and the ways in which I believe the leadership team of Temple University’s Undergraduate Admissions office intentionally worked to limit recruitment efforts of Black and Brown students in Philadelphia and throughout other designated recruitment areas. 

I am concerned that as Temple continues to make public statements about their commitment to social justice, dismantling systems of institutional racism, and taking a stance against police brutality, it allows them to frame a narrative that I believe to be different from the actual reality of Temple that I experienced, which includes my being assaulted by Temple police as a doctoral student on campus.

Temple is a powerful and well-connected organization, and they are aware that it is difficult if not impossible to stand up against them and fight back, especially for someone with limited financial means.

It is my hope that with this petition, Temple University sees that there are others watching now, that are aware of how they’ve operated in the past, and that this will ensure a level of accountability, openness, and transparency in their policies and practices specifically when it comes to:

1) Reporting, investigating claims of discrimination

  • Creating a system to ensure transparency and accountability for the University with regards to claims, investigations, and outcomes
  • Put systems in place to protect and support victims that were brave enough to come forward to share their stories or encounters

2)    Ensuring Focus for Philadelphia area students to gain access

  • Stop saying “Those kids are inadmissible”. Focus on all schools and not JUST TOP FEEDERS
  • Stop adjusting grades from “underperforming” high schools that are “too high”
  • Provide more resources and staff dedicated specifically to Philadelphia area recruiting
  • Ensure “multi-cultural” and “diversity” programs are relevant, appropriate, and actually centered on the targeted groups and not “generic admissions” efforts
  • Ensure multilingual options are available for information for families and students
  • Develop oversight and accountability to ensure equitable outcomes and transparency in decision making

3)    Admissions practices and policies to ensure:

  • Temple University does not discriminate with regards to the attention, funding, support, and physical presence of Temple University and its representatives at local and national high schools, community-based organizations, and university based programming and events.
  • Ensure all applicants are provided the same opportunities during the application process
  • Equitable consideration of “special scholarships” provided by the University to Philadelphia high school students
  • Diversity on the admissions and transfer teams for the central admissions office and individual admissions teams for each “college”
  • Training to ensure all admissions staff are knowledgeable and adhering to enrollment management best practices, including ensuring all considerations are made with attention on diversity, equity, and inclusion
  • Require admission decisions to be documented/justified by decision makers

4)    Increase transparency with Temple Police and public/student interactions

  • Hold Temple University police accountable to the public, remove the option for campus police to operate with no community oversight
  • Require Temple Police to establish practices/procedures which would provide transparency with obligation to disclose information regarding officer infractions, investigations, complaints, etc.
  • Establish clear community and police engage protocols

5)    Hiring, retention, and promotion practices

  • Conduct an audit of university hiring, retention, promotion practices to ensure equitable career outcomes for ALL employees
  • Require training for all participants engaging in recruitment, interviewing, onboarding of applicants to ensure equity in hiring decisions
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Signatures: 61Next Goal: 100
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