A number of multicultural student groups at American University are protesting the administration’s handling of race-related incidents. Students are concerned about racist social media posts and Islamaphobic posters recently seen on campus.
AU student Kiersten Gillette-Pierce, who is involved in student government and the Black Student Alliance, said the administration is “pushing diversity,” but not doing enough to actually help minority students on campus.
“Right now, we are talking at each other,” Gillette-Pierce told the AU student newspaper The Eagle. “It could be that maybe we don’t know the avenues to talk, or that the administration doesn’t care,” she said. “Stop ignoring us and make some tangible changes. Stop pushing diversity and not pushing retention.”
Decontae Torriente, vice president of BSA, agreed, “AU likes to pretend it’s a very inclusive community, and they have taken steps in other areas to make it inclusive.” However, he feels that “AU is very exclusive in the sense that it doesn’t do all that it can to make sure that students of color feel welcome and safe on this campus.”
Torriente is also involved in a student movement called “The Darkening,” which aims to raise awareness of racial injustices. The group held a protest on campus earlier this year in response to discriminatory comments posted on Yik Yak.
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