On most white-dominated college campuses, there is always the issue of the lack of diversity among the student body. The University of Missouri is one of them that has been in the headlines recently. The school has been put under fire after not taking any action against the extreme racial tensions that occur in everyday life between the white and black students and faculty of the university. The University of Missouri has been put under the spotlight by being used as an example on how college racism is becoming a huge issue and hasn’t changed much since the civil rights era.
In some ways, the grievances of black students mirror those of other campuses across the country. The black students almost always felt as if they were being judged by the color of their skin. One student puts it, “It can be exhausting when people are making assumptions about you based on the color of your skin. I can be exhausting to feel like you have to speak for your entire race. It’s so exhausting that on some mornings I ask myself if I want to go to class and sit with people.” These young black college students are not only dealing with the harassment on campus but also via social media such as Yik Yak. Yik Yak is a commonly used app that lets users post statuses and comments anonymously within a one mile radius of the user. At the University of Missouri, racial threats against certain students so bad that students felt unsafe to walk on campus, afraid that they will be attacked physically and/or sexually. These students feel a sense of cultural isolation and feel harshly judged 24/7. There have been racial threats made via social media against these students. The university, specifically the university president, has been criticized for being slow and ineffective in addressing these racial tensions. The university president brushed this under the rug and the students are not happy. As a result of their frustration the students formed a group called the Concerned Student 1950 and protested against the school. The group was named after the year that African-Americans were admitted to the university.
According to the article, “Both blacks and whites are clearly underrepresented at the university compared to the demographics of the entire state. Eight percent of the students are black while nearly eighty percent are white compared to about eighty-four percent of the state.” Academic outcomes have also been unequal. “83% of black freshmen return for their sophomore year, nearly 88% of whites and 94% of Asians do. And black students have the lowest graduation rate of all races, less than 55%, compared with 71% for whites”.
Soon universities and colleges across the country united with the students at the University of Missouri. We notice the injustices that are occurring to people just like us. We notice what is right and wrong. We notice the grievances that young people just like us are going through on a daily basis and how the administrative power is doing absolutely nothing about it. Instead of going the violent route to be heard, students at the university and other universities around the nation are using social media (Facebook, Twitter, Yik Yak, etc) to let their voices be heard for these injustices to come to an end once and for all.