A new study by five scholars at the University of Illinois finds that Black and other minority students at the university frequently are confronted by racist remarks, are subjected to racial stereotypes, and are marginalized in group projects and activities. The report is based on an online survey of 4,800 students from underrepresented minority groups on the University of Illinois campus.
The results found that 51 percent of the minority students reported experiencing racial stereotyping. More than one quarter said their contributions in the classroom were minimized and 25 percent said they were not taken seriously due to their race. Some students mentioned that their academic advisers encouraged them to change to less challenging majors.
In addition to documenting students’ experiences of racism in the classroom, the report offers recommendations to the campus for training faculty and staff members in addressing racial microaggressions and challenging stereotypes, encouraging dialogue, and defusing rancor. The recommendations included requiring students to take courses on racial inequality in the U.S. and on non-Western culture; creating ways for students to identify, report and respond to racial microaggressions; and tracking majors with low enrollment, high numbers of transfers out of the major, and low graduation rates for students of color.
The report, Racial Microaggressions at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign: Voices of Students of Color in the Classroom, can be downloaded here.