Students, Faculty, Staff, and Alumni,
We feel it to be our solemn duty to make a statement about recent events before all our peer institutions beat us to the punch. In this time of division, we flailed through the Provost’s book of inspirational, unifying quotes and landed on the aphorism, “Change begins at home.” As we reflect on our own campus home, we definitively state our intent to stand against hate, prejudice, and other harmful nouns, as well as to fight racism where it lives: elsewhere.
Black people have been a vital part of this institution since its very beginnings when they built it for us on stolen land. While we regret that we did not admit Black people for centuries after it was established, we are proud to boast that seven percent of our current undergraduate student body is Black, and we can’t stop reminding historically excluded students how lucky they are to be here.
Our surrounding community is taking notice of how far we’ve come. And it’s no wonder. Students and faculty take a strong interest in Black members of our campus family — asking them questions like “Do you go here,” “Do you play football,” and “Does Admissions still use affirmative action?” Our attentive staff, from campus police to brochure photographers, is keen to follow their every move. Most impressively, we’re so adept at preparing our non-white students for real-world success that they keep leaving early.
We also celebrate our accomplished Black faculty member, who always manages to produce an astonishing amount of scholarship on such a low budget, while supporting and mentoring all 89 Black students. Dr. Keysha Boyd published her second book and six major articles this year, but is mysteriously stalled at the assistant rank. You can also find an infographic version of her essay “Cite Her Work: Recognizing Black Women’s Intellectual Labor” circulating without attribution on Instagram. Congrats on being the banner image for our “Academic Programs” homepage for the past six semesters, Dr. Boyd!
Although our campus does not have a race problem, in the wake of several isolated misunderstandings, we are proud to announce that, next semester, we will be launching a Committee for the Formation of the Diversity and Inclusion Task Force, comprised of fourteen well-intentioned white people, six deans who have not taught since 1983, and a very frustrated Vice President of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Public Relations. The Committee will institute the following reforms:
- We will donate two cents per every million in our endowment to an undisclosed racial justice organization.
- We will continue to recruit Black, Indigenous, Latinx, low-income, and/or first-generation students to College University while devoting little to no attention to improving their experiences once on campus.
- Every morning, a crowd of 8-10 people will gather in front of the Nursing School to sternly wag their fingers at the statue of J. Marion Sims to act as a barrier for those who have property destruction on the brain.
- All faculty members will be required to attend racial bias and sensitivity training for exactly six minutes.
- To update our curriculum, in addition to Regular History, we will be offering “African American History” as an elective. The course will cover all three events: slavery, the Harlem Renaissance, and the quaint parts of the Civil Rights Movement.
- Students will now be required to comment on their white professors’ hair and attitudes on their mandatory teaching evaluations.
- All faculty members of color will serve on as many committees as humanly possible. (#RepresentationMatters)
- Any and all future grievances related to discrimination will be handled by the new Colorblind Rainbow Center for Campus Diversity. Because the recent Black program coordinator stepped down after signing a non-disclosure agreement, all employees of the Center are white, but deeply sympathetic.
- Kente cloth graduation stoles are now mandatory.
This is our home. We are glad that, upon our investigation and consultation with general counsel, we do not need to change anything. We have shown and will continue to demonstrate our investment in diversity, inclusion, the status quo, and our superficial valuation of Black life until public attention wanes. And, to quote Oprah quoting Maya Angelou: “When people show you who they are, believe them.”