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Resolution Against Racism at Purdue University: Purdue must stand and act against racism, in support of equity and social justice.

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Resolution Against Racism at Purdue

In the calendar year of 2012, the Purdue University community has witnessed at least 3 high profile racist attacks.  In February a picture of Dr. Cornell Bell, distinguished Krannert Business School Professor, was defaced and vandalized with racist language.  Then, in March a twitter account racially attacked Asians through harmful and exclusionary language.  In September two students were attacked with a written racial slur in the Krannert Business School library.  These three incidents have received the most attention, but are only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to discrimination within the Purdue community.  These are examples of institutional and social racism in the U.S. and at Purdue.

            These racial assaults underscores the need for Purdue University to establish measures and practices to guarantee and safeguard the rights of African American and other historically underrepresented minority students to public education and full citizenship.

 We, the undersigned, demand the following of Purdue University:

 1.      Purdue will create a university-wide Anti-Racism Grievance Committee to adjudicate claims from students, faculty and staff about cases of racial prejudice, hate crimes or attacks.  Purdue will create a University-wide Anti-Discrimination Taskforce to monitor the overall conditions of racial equality on campus.

 2.      Purdue will double its minority enrollment and percentage of minority faculty within 10 years and achieve parity with national minority representation (35%) within 20 years.

 3.      Purdue first year students will be required to take a university-wide course on the history of race and racism in the United States.  Purdue’s student and faculty, administrative, and professional staff orientations must include programming on the meaning of racism and discrimination, and Purdue must take steps to increase awareness about discriminatory patterns.

 4.      Purdue will establish the Asian/Asian American Resource and Cultural Center (AAARCC).   The process for the establishment of the AAARCC will mean that Purdue administrators will meet with and employ the ideas of the involved faculty, undergraduate, and graduate students.

5.The President of Purdue University, members of the Board of Trustees, and all university level administrators should be champions of diversity.  A “champion of diversity” should exemplify the following characteristics:

 a.       Ability to empathize with someone from another race, ethnicity, and/or culture.

 b.      Support and enforce programs that protect the safety of all students as well as encourage financial and public support of safety programs and efforts.

 c.       Public and formal support of tolerance education groups and programs that target awareness.

 d.      Hold regular meetings with public for dialogue to take input from students concerning the attitude, racial climate and education efforts on campus.

 e.       Advocates for any needed diversity-driven changes.

 f.       Promote initiatives to increase funding for campus groups, academic programs, and departments that foster scholarship, teaching, and research/studies related to any and all aspects of diversity.

 g.      Supportive of cultural centers for historically underrepresented groups at Purdue with the purpose of serving the entire Purdue community and beyond.

 h.      Support for all the resolutions included on the Purdue Anti-Racism Coalition petition and resolutions.

 We believe the steps outlined above are minimal undertakings for Purdue administrators to demonstrate understanding of the community’s concerns, and to address the damage done by the most recent racial and discriminatory attacks on individuals and groups.  Purdue administrators must engage in the work towards the creation of an atmosphere for learning with a clear and public stance against racism, discrimination, and exclusionary attitudes and practices.  Purdue should be a national and global leader on issues of equity and social justice through institutional responsibility and demonstrative resource allocation. An ever increasingly just society can be modeled by the Purdue community.

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