The University of Virginia Black Student Alliance’s Call for Action

UVA-BSAThe Black Student Alliance at the University of Virginia has produced a 27-page document entitled Towards a Better University. The authors of the report state that “the University of Virginia must take a lead on issues of diversity, inclusion, and racial equity in order to position itself as a model institution of higher learning. In order to achieve this goal, tangible changes must be implemented.”

Among the recommendations in the report are:

  • Enhanced efforts to increase racial diversity among the student body and faculty. (The report notes that in 1991, Blacks were 12 percent of the undergraduate student body. In the fall of 2014, the figure was 6.1 percent. The report also states that between 2009 and 2014, the number of Black faculty at the University fell from 142 to 113.)
  • The establishment of a capital campaign to benefit the construction of a permanent and proper slave memorial on campus.
  • The awarding of departmental status for the Carter G. Woodson Institute for African American Studies.
  • Bias training for the campus police force.
  • Enhanced diversity training for all entering students.
  • An expansion and renovation of the Luther P. Jackson Cultural Center.

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  1. I would like to make the following suggestions:
    1.Demand that the University of Virginia set goals and timetables for increasing Black student representation in all incoming classes to begin now for the 2015-2016 academic school year.
    A. More outreach is needed in all communities to increase Black student representation at the University of Virginia which means utilizing the UVA Black Parent Organization.
    2.Demand that the University of Virginia set goals and timetables for increasing Black faculty and staff positions.
    3. That bias training for the campus police should be on going.
    4. That the University of Virginia establish goals and timetables to increase the Black representation in the Campus police department.
    5 That faculty members, staff members, supervisors, managers to include anyone involved in the hiring process be evaluated on their efforts to increase Black representation in all departments of the University which includes professional and non-professional job classifications.
    6.All entering students at the University of Virginia must sign in the orientation process a memorandum of understanding which encompasses all areas of the diversity that is clear about the polices of said school governing diversity.
    7. That President Sullivan establish a diverse Commission of students, faculty, staff, alumni, and community interest for the express purpose of constructing a permanent proper enslaved memorial on said campus. This has been put off for too long and now is the time to crank up this project into high gear.
    Ask President Sullivan why has the University of Virginia gone from 12.1% Black students in 1991 to miserable 6.1% in 2015. Those numbers are going down and they don’t reflect any semblance of progress and the University President should find out why and report back to said students, Black Parents and Alumni.
    What are Dr. Sullivan’s plans to remedy the declining Black student population at the University of Virginia?
    Should admission personnel be discharged for the declining Black student population?
    I have more constructive ideas but I shall have to go now.

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