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Students and faculty discuss race issues

A group of students and faculty discussed whether or not racism still exists on campus Wednesday, September 23 on Zoom.

The Black Student Association, Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc. and American History and Thought were just some of the 101 people in attendance. The group consisted of both faculty and staff.

Dr. Henry Parker led the panel discussion, along with two alumni and three current students, all from different racial backgrounds.

Parker asked the panel to rate their experience at UTM on a scale from 1-10.

The numbers given ranged from -36 to six.

BSA President Kaylyn Bailey said it is difficult to be a Black student on this campus.

"I have to work twice as hard to get opportunities and respect from my classmates and sometimes my professors. I am constantly being targeted as an 'angry Black women' when we have opinionated open discussions in class."

The group mostly talked about whether or not UTM did enough to address the racist video released this summer.

The panel said administration didn't do enough.

"I think there needs to be a more discipline put in place to prevent these things from continuing to happen, because people are going to do what you allow them to do. That is why we are pushing for a required African American history course," said UTM alumni Hailey Williford.

A coalition of UTM students, alumni, employees and community members believe the school would benefit from a required African American History course for the completion of its undergraduate programs.

UTM alumni Amber Sherman said, "The school has not done enough to keep black students safe. As alumni we have had to step in multiple times and try to figure out ways to protect our black students and make them feel safe, and thats unacceptable."

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