Liya Tewelde | Correspondent
Recent events at NC State have reaffirmed long-standing, race-related issues on campus. From white supremacist flyers posted on Nubian Message stands proclaiming “It’s Okay to Be White,” to the platform that is being provided for Turning Point USA and their featured speakers Charlie Kirk and Lara Trump. It is obvious that despite the efforts to champion diversity and inclusion that NC State continues to be far from either.
Racist Incidents on Campus
Racism Emerges at State – Jan. 27,1994
An announcement in the free expression tunnel of “Showtime at the Apollo,” a Black celebration was graffitied over with racist rhetoric. “Another Jigaboo Jam” and “KKK Sponsered” were written over the announcement. In response, Black student leaders addressed the culture of silence surrounding racism on campus.
Racism Still Exists – Nov. 17, 1994
In Nov. 1994, two Black students were the victims of a racist attack. While walking to Sullivan Residence Hall, they were hit with balloons filled with shaving cream, cologne and water thrown from a suite in Bragaw Residence Hall. During the incident, the two students were told to “go home niggers.”
Screenshot Scandal Escalates Racial Tension at NC State – Sep. 28, 2016
Screenshots from a GroupMe chat were released to the public, exposing racist rhetoric used by students in response to Black Lives Matter protests. Posts in the chat entitled, “Sullivan Squad,” included: “Bruh we in the private chat you can call a nig a nig it ain’t racist if it’s true…” and “so the monkey exhibit got let out.” Chancellor Randy Woodson issued a video response, which was widely seen as disappointing and dismissive, stating that although the messages weren’t condoned, “the University cannot punish students for hurtful and offensive comments.”
White supremacist flyers surface around campus – Nov. 11, 2016
Just a day after the 2016 election, flyers reading “The Media Will Call This Hate. Why? Because They Hate White People” and “#WHITEGENOCIDE” were posted on bulletin boards around campus and in a Nubian Message newsstand. In an editorial published following the posting of these flyers, Nubian Message staff responded by stating that “we will not stop writing, speaking out our thoughts, or pursuing our education” in the face of blatant racism on campus.
Low Diversity and Representation on Campus
A Pale Campus – Sept. 14, 2000
3,757 students made up the freshmen class of fall 2000. Of those students, only 435 were Black. Black students at NC State made up 9.5 percent of the total student population, yet the graduation rate of these students hadn’t reached over 7.0 percent between the years of 1995 and 1999.
Inside AASAC’s Report Card – Jan. 31, 2002
The African American Student Advisory Council released a report card grading NC State in the effectiveness in addressing student concerns regarding four categories including: enrollment of African American freshman, the Chancellor’s Leadership Award, African American Graduation Rates, and African American Faculty. If the University was given a GPA for these grades, it would be a 1.0.
Black Acceptance Rate Declines – Oct. 16, 2013
The fall 2013 semester had an acceptance of only 20 percent of Black students that applied. This percentage paled in comparison to the 53 percent of white, 59.3 percent of Asian, and 35 percent of Hispanic applicants who were admitted that same semester. The total Black student body population was also notably low at 6.8 percent compared to 9.8 percent ten years prior.
Representation and Diversity in NC State Faculty – Feb. 28, 2018
The National Center for Educational Statistics reported that as of 2016, Black undergraduate and graduate students made up only 6 percent of NC State’s 33,755 student body population. The same report stated that of the 1,380 full time professors that were tenured, only 3 percent of men and 5.5 percent of women identified as Black. Feelings of underrepresentation and the negative consequences that can stem from it were expressed by both students and faculty.
Study Reveals State “Failing” in Diversity – Oct. 11, 2018
The University of Southern California Race and Equity Center published a report card using Black student demographics to analyze the following categories: representation equity, gender equity, completion equity and black student-to-black faculty ratio. NC State scored an F in representation equity, putting the University at a 2.75 grade point average.
Lack of Action from NC State Administration
Town Hall Offers Little Healing to Students of Color – Oct. 24, 2016
Following the GroupMe screenshot scandal, Student Government held a Racial Climate Town Hall to discuss issues of race relations on campus. Many students were disappointed by the behavior of Chancellor Randy Woodson, with one student calling him out saying “You haven’t looked at any one of the black students who have spoken about their experiences.”
DEW: Where It At? – Oct. 30, 2019
The absence of Diversity Education Week, normally taking place in October, was notable this year in the aftermath of issues regarding race and gender on campus. This week typically highlights the importance of diversity and inclusion on campus, but October passed without a statement or apology issued by NC State administration.
While NC State attempts to present an image of inclusivity and diversity, it is evident that we have not progressed as far as we should have. The same race-related issues and sentiments faced by students over 20 years ago parallel those of students today. This begs the question, what is NC State actually doing to protect Black students?