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Editorial

Racist act raises concern at UWRF

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October 2, 2008

On Sept. 22, racial graffiti was discovered by a professor on a bulletin board in the Ag Science building.

This event is disturbing in a number of ways.

When it was discovered, UWRF Public Safety was notified and an e-mail was sent out to all faculty and staff.

Students, however, were kept out of the loop.

The Student Voice feels that by not notifying students, the University was trying to hide the problem. The University wants to protect their image, but the student body cannot change anything if they do not know what is going on within their own campus.

The faculty and staff should address the problem directly instead of hiding it and acting like it does not exist.

The irony of this is that students are required to take courses in “American cultural diversity” and “global perspectives,” yet racism is obviously still occurring at UWRF.

There are a variety of courses that fulfill these requirements but their names suggest they do not exactly get to the heart of the issue of racism, including Playwrights of Color (CSTA 230), American Autobiography (ENGL/WMST 235), World Cinema (ENGL/FILM/INTS 442), World Food and Population (AGEC 250) and International Business (MNGT 355).

Students can take courses like these, get a good grade, have peace of mind and feel good about themselves for being “diverse.”

By University standards that is enough, but apparently the message is not getting across.

The problem might also be traced to students being desensitized to racial issues because of racist jokes and stereotypes being thrown around so casually.

All someone needs to do to see an example of this is to watch Chris Rock or Carlos Mencia, where they base their entire performance on perpetuating stereotypes of their own races.

It happens in the news too, like the coverage that blacks received during Hurricane Katrina.

When this is what we continually see and hear, it is no wonder that these stereotypes still exist.

There is a sign on the border of River Falls that say “we are an inclusive campus” and another one right next to it that says “we are building an inclusive community.”

Maybe UWRF is not at the point of being “inclusive” yet, and should go back and join the rest of the community in the “building” phase.