We Demand Change and Support at Quinnipiac University because Black Lives Matter
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Quinnipiac University students and alumni have come together to request that the university show support to their claim for “Diversity and Inclusion.” Please sign this petition if you believe in this cause to demand for sustainable change at Quinnipiac University and to improve education for future generations. You DO NOT need to be a QU student to sign.
In light of recent events with the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and many more, the United States is dealing with the consequences of systemic racism and injustices to the black community. As a predominantly white institution, Quinnipiac University had the opportunity to support their claim for diversity and inclusion during this time instead of perpetuating and benefiting from a system of white supremacy.
On June 3rd, 2020, Quinnipiac University released a carefully crafted public statement stating: “Achieving inclusive excellence requires creating a sense of belonging for all individuals - especially historically marginalized members of society - while asserting the worth, dignity, legitimacy, and equality of our fellow community members. To our students, faculty, staff, family and friends of color who are again feeling the unspeakable pain of racism - we stand in solidarity with you.”
As a predominantly white institution, with the incoming class population at Quinnipiac University about 79% white (and about 21% cumulatively all races besides white as taken from the Quinnipiac University website about the incoming class), this statement and standing in solidarity is NOT enough.
Firstly, we are asking Quinnipiac to begin with an apology. The Quinnipiac University public statement was incredibly vague that did not address the black community directly. There is a significant lack of diversity in the student population already and this does not demonstrate enough support. The statement was simply words strung together that sound nice with absolutely no action supporting the claims. Since the release of this statement, students, athletes, leaders, and alumni have posted comments expressing the racism they experienced at Quinnipiac, where the university demonstrated little to no action after students reported incidents.
On June 5th, 2020, the university ignored these expressions and publicly posted about the School of Communications: “Our School of Communications has launched the podcast, UnCOMMon Grounds, to showcase how its students are taking the lessons they’ve learned in the classroom to succeed in the world. Dean Chris Roush speaks with students,” with an image of their white Dean. This was ignorant and emphasizes that there is not even enough diversity in the images the university posts, unless it is to profit off the few students of color enrolled.
At this time, we demand change and action from Quinnipiac University. As an educational institution with a “mission to create a diverse and inclusive community where every member is acknowledged, respected and has the necessary resources to thrive,” Quinnipiac has a responsibility to uphold these values and emphasize cultural competency with their education. We propose these further steps in action to support these claims:
- Release a new statement to the public explicitly stating support for the Black community. Include an apology. Standing in solidarity is not enough.
- For future occurrences and incidents, react or speak out to the public promptly. Hold the university accountable.
- Diversify your student population and amplify the voices of students of color on campus. Allow a platform in leadership positions for students of color.
- Facilitate an environment where BIPOC can thrive as leaders and engage in leadership positions at the university.
- Develop a plan of sustainable retention towards graduation with a focus on low retention rates of students of color.
- Sponsor and support more trips/conferences off campus where students can engage in diverse communities.
- Increase resources for students of color. Increase financial, academic, community support for the Black Student Union and other organizations for students of color. Have effective mentorship for students of color.
- Raise awareness to scholarship programs/opportunities (both full and partial), especially for incoming students of color with low income backgrounds.
- Develop a plan of financial stability for BIPOC. Have financial advisors available, especially for incoming students of color with low income backgrounds.
- Have adequate mental health services and support for students of color.
- Increase diversity in faculty and staff. Promote recruitment of diverse faculty and staff.
- Have resources available to support faculty, staff, workers (Chartwells, Janitorial facilities, etc) when they are placed in racially charged situations.
- Create an effective incident report system for faculty, staff, workers. Promptly respond with action.
- Provide a safe space for faculty and staff to express their experiences.
- Make a generous public donation to black organizations and support local businesses that are Black-owned in an effort to support the Black Lives Matter Movement. Quinnipiac received an endowment of $556 million in 2019. It is possible to make a donation that positively impacts the surrounding, local, and student communities in support of the movement.
- Partner with local black-owned businesses when hosting Quinnipiac events/programs. Provide resources to make Quinnipiac organizations aware of local businesses to support.
- Decolonize the curriculum. Create classes in the curriculum that focus on abolishing racism, educating students on systemic/institutionalized racism. Alter the viewpoint in courses that are traditionally told from a white perspective to instead be towards a perspective that amplifies the Black voice.
- Integrate education inter-departmentally. Spread these courses into health, science, engineering, business, communications, and the arts.
- Propose a general education requirement that focuses on a diverse narrative understanding race, ethnicity, diversity, inclusion. Incorporate critical thinking and challenging discussions.
- Utilize opportunities in First Year Seminar classes to facilitate these discussions.
- Employ diverse professors who are capable of teaching these perspectives.
- Respond with a concrete plan of action. List out steps the university will take to support its students of color and the Black Lives Matter Movement.
- Be transparent. Make the actions in the “Strategic Plans” known publicly through a letter, email, or newsletter on all platforms: undergraduate, graduate, alumni, medical school, law school. Act on this plan.
- Provide educational resources on privilege, racism, white fragility, systemic and institutionalized racism. Send out information and resources that students, leaders, community leaders, alumni can all educate themselves on.
- Uplift and amplify Black voices through books written by Black authors, music, podcasts, movies, shows, articles, that focus on their narrative.
- Create a network of Alumni for students of color, especially for career development. Foster a community of events for alumni of color that make them feel welcome.
- Show constant support during Black History Month. Utilize opportunities for education through social/media platforms, podcasts, and facilitate discussion.
- Create sanctions for reported incidents of racism. Quickly take action when racism is experienced by students of color. Listen to their experiences and change the policies to support victims of racism.
- Create a more effective system for reporting incidents. Require a follow up.
- Seamless transfer of oversight from Public Safety to more focus on community leaders who are more capable of resolving racially charged issues.
- Establish a support system for these students including therapy resources and mentors.
***NOTE: All initiatives are approved by the Quinnipiac University Black Student Union and supported by QU Enough Is Enough campaign.
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