Forget Color-Blindness

by Alec Torres

Despite the great lengths universities across the nation have gone to in order to recruit and accommodate minority students, some students still feel their schools are hotbeds of racism and hostility.

At the University of Michigan last week, members of the Black Student Union made seven demands on their school — including the institution of quotas in admissions for black students and mandatory “race and ethnicity requirements” throughout all schools in the university. If their demands were not met in seven days, they threatened to take (nonviolent) “physical action.” So how did the university react to the demands of this small group of students?

The university was quick to respond, and administrators met with leaders of the BSU on Friday. Though the seven demands were not immediately met, Vice President of Student Life E. Royster Harper described the meeting as a “robust family conversation.” “Some of the next steps are exploring, some are data collecting, and some are things we can do right away,” she said.

The student government is drafting resolutions to expand the race and ethnicity curriculum, and the administration is “reevaluating” the minority-recruitment process and developing a “pipeline for minority students” to reach the University of Michigan. The university will also allocate $300,000 to renovate the Trotter Multicultural Center, as the BSU demanded. After the meeting, the BSU said it is “optimistic” moving forward.

The University of Michigan is not alone in facing such student protests. From California to New Hampshire, universities are coming under fire for their alleged racism. For more on this trend — and some of the students’ ridiculous demands — read the rest of my article on the homepage.