Letter to the editor: BUS on the state of KSU’s racial climate

For quite a while it has felt as though, along with our student allies, Black United Students is carrying the burden of handling underlying racial issues on campus.

Although one of the organization’s outlined duties is to advocate for the black students on campus, we find it problematic that university officials who are hired to handle student relations do not join our voice.

As an organization, we wholeheartedly agree that race is a serious issue. We are not sure that our university community agrees. 

From the administration’s lack of a public statement regarding the addition of a swastika to the rock, to the regular dismissal of tensions between members of the Undergraduate Student Government and the student body, we feel as though many members of the Kent State community are not taking our concerns seriously. Black students across this campus have been plagued by both subtle and blatant racial insensitivity, and we feel neglected by Kent State’s administration. 

We desire heightened awareness and conversation from all members of the community. This discussion must begin with an acceptance of the fact that racist acts and speech need to be called racist.

BUS does not feel as though black students on this campus can truly move toward inclusion as long as the Kent community continues to call racism by another name and devalue the severity of it.

Particularly within student leadership and the executive leaders of Kent State University, BUS feels that there is a grave lack of accountability.

At no point in history has denial or avoidance been the key to progression. We challenge the Kent community to abide by its commitment to excellence first by acknowledging that underrepresented students face racism on this campus daily, and second, to making those occurrences a priority.

BUS is eager to join forces with the university, but we are exhausted with carrying the brunt of the work.