End Racism and Discrimination on College Campuses
End Racism and Discrimination on College Campuses
I wasn’t going to share this, but I’ve been asked whether or not I’ll be returning to school this fall and I haven’t really known how to respond. My mother has always stressed the importance of a higher education to me and I’ve wanted to become a doctor for so long that I get excited just thinking about hospitals. Sadly, I am unsure if I’ll ever be able to make groundbreaking medical discoveries like I had dreamed.
On August 3rd, the University of Minnesota - Twin Cities suspended me indefinitely for “violating the student conduct code.” Upon receiving the news, I felt like my world was ending. Throughout my freshman year I have been belittled, discriminated against and I’ve gone through one too many racial incidents. I have spoken to my advisors, school counselors and even some professors about my issues and they have done nothing to help me, other than give me referrals to see a mental health specialist. I was in violation of the student conduct code when I began sending emails. In the emails I detailed what I had been going through and why I felt as if I should have a fair chance at an education just as well as anyone else. I sent these emails to my advisor and one of his colleagues who he thought would be able to help me. The university deemed my wording in the emails too abrasive. In their words, “ We can’t have a violent black girl tainting the reputation of our university.” As if racism and discrimination isn’t already tainting it.
I have always been told that if you need help ask for it, but I have always been the kind of student and young woman that was scared to ask for help when I needed it. I thought that I would be able to tough out what was happening, but it got hard to take showers in the dorm that I lived in while seeing the word “nigga” scrawled on the wall of the shower. I was the only black girl who lived on the floor at the dorm so of course that meant sharing the bathroom with girls who didn’t identify with me. It was easy to realize who these messages were meant for, but it didn’t hurt any less. I’ll always be just another nigga to them. As soon as I began asking for help though the university accused me of falsifying information. My advisor acted as if he didn’t want to speak about my problems. Instead, he gave me pamphlets to see a mental health counselor on campus. Why am I the sick one when I’m not racist?
On top of all of this happening, some of my professors marked me absent from class most of my freshman year and they tampered with my grades. The perfect 4.0 I had worked so hard to maintain throughout my freshman year steadily became a 1.2, the lowest GPA I have ever received. I have to keep reminding myself that that GPA isn’t correct, but now that I’m no longer in school I second guess myself and the things that I do. I was accepted into the Society of Leadership and Collegiate Achievement based off of my grades and my accomplishments throughout my freshman year, which doesn’t make sense based off of my current GPA. This just further proves that my transcripts have been tampered with. The proof is all there and I have addressed this numerous times yet no one has helped me.
With school getting ready to start up again I am reminded everyday that I won’t be able to start again. It saddens me, but it hasn’t stopped me. I don’t know when I’ll be going back to school, but I don’t want my voice to be silenced. I believe the University of Minnesota is trying to get me to stop speaking about the racism and grades being tampered with so it doesn’t make them look bad, but I feel worst than they’ll ever look. I wanted to share my story to not only answer people’s questions, but to also shed light on the world of a young black woman trying to receive an education from a predominantly white institution. I know not every black student goes through this. For those who’ve had successful college journeys, congratulations! You’ve beat the system and as a person of color, that’s a tremendous feat. For those of you who are like me, I see you and I feel you. I hope you all see and feel me too. I have always been quiet and shy and more laid back than most people, but I still have a voice (no matter how soft) and I deserve to be heard just like anyone else. Hopefully I am being heard loud and clear
It has been a month since I was wrongfully suspended from the University of Minnesota - Twin Cities. Since the suspension I have received calls and emails from my advisor, Mr. Pao Moua, blaming me for everything that I have been through. He has repeatedly made me feel lower than I have already felt in weeks. The whole university has. Everyone who I have spoken to about this situation tells me they cannot help me because I am making the university look bad. I am just a young black woman who was wronged by Minnesota's racist educational system. As an aspiring doctor, it baffles me that anyone would want to take away my right to an education especially if I could be the one to save the lives of their children if it comes down to that.
#AfroShyGirl #MoreThanAMovement #BlackStudentsLivesMatter