Living in a country that is one of the world’s largest melting pots is a beautiful thing because there are many different cultures, opinions and values. However, it can sometimes be controversial for the same reasons. Imagine being a college student, who is striving to have a more successful life and career, but at the same time, having to dodge racism and threats on a college campus where you are supposed to be safe and welcomed. People don’t like change and anything that inconveniences them. This causes problems when people who don’t look the same as they do, come into a place that some may call home and can’t get along.
Plattsburgh State has been under fire for recent threats coming from white students and community members. For a school that preaches diversity and how welcomed we are on campus, this institution is doing a bad job of making us [minorities] feel that way. Having lawn signs and banners in the Angell College Center does not cut it. Administrators are not the only people to blame, however. Sure, we have a Diversity Week, but students are not attending any of the activities planned. More advertisement needs to be made. Before the week before Diversity Week: promote, promote, promote. Get it stuck in people’s heads. Students need to make it a priority to at least attend one event during Diversity Week. We need to be a part of the change we want to see.
Teachers also play a part in the problem. They need to show up to events that are important to students as well. Let us know that you actually do care and communicate that you are an ally through your actions, not just your words. Show support and find simple ways to get more students to show up to events. It will be a good chance to hear stories from the other side, and to understand where we come from as a whole. Teachers can offer a little extra credit to those who attend an event a provide proof that they attended. Those are some simple actions to get people involved and aware.
PSUC could also encourage students to try to start a founding line for more divine nines. There are currently only two fraternities that are a part of the divine nine. The fraternities and sororities on campus say that everyone is welcome, but everyone has their comfort zone, especially something that is for a lifetime. Letting students know they can make this campus theirs and contribute more than a tuition check should be a priority.
College is not only about working toward a degree, but it’s also about the experience. If students are not able to enjoy their time at PSUC, they will simply leave. Most colleges teach the same things, so students will have no problem transferring to a cheaper and more enjoyable institution.
We’re just trying to make it like everyone else. I don’t see why we have to be the people to fix a problem we did not start. But, if we don’t do it and demand what is right, no one else will.
Email Tamiyha Carter at firstname.lastname@example.org