The Life of a Black Student in an Predominately White Institution (PWI)
Being a black student at a predominately white instituion (PWI) has its challenges every day. It is challenging to be one of the only minorities in a class full of 200 people. It is even harder when you have to work harder than everyone else since you are a person of color.
For example, universities always try to recruit for diversity, so their school can reach a certain percentage for their universities to be considered "diverse." However, anyone from the Black, Latinx, and Asian community must get an excellent GPA to be considered a university. They even have to find scholarships for them to be able to further their education. Most minorities have a more challenging time of being accepted and going to college versus the white community.
So, when universities see minorities, they look at them as tokens to their school. They will try to do whatever it takes for them to attend their University but do not give them the resources they need. Being a color in predominantly white institutions, you will need more help than a white person, such as counseling, mental health check, etc. They will even need more support since their community is small compared to the white population. It isn't easy to navigate a campus where people barely look like you or understand what you are going through.
The University you attend will always try to use you to represent the whole minority community. However, when an incident involving racism happens, they only will release a statement. Many universities will promote diversity, but they don't try to promote this community. They use us so that they can get diversity points and nothing more. It is sad to say they care more about the reputation, but they do not care about the actual students.
Universities need to get better at supporting minorities. They need to provide resources for these students and be more understanding. Instead of writing statements on racism, they need to take action against students who harass other students because of their race or gender. The action behind words will help minorities feel safer and included in their community on campus.
You may not think being black is challenging at a PWI, but you're mistaken. You will encounter at least one situation where someone may harass you because of your skin color. You can not escape racism, or sometimes you may not be able to address it, but you have the right to report it. Then, the University should discipline students who discriminate against others as it is unfair and puts other students at risk.
For example, at Penn State, the Black Caucus issued a statement on Friday, January 29, 2021, about a "Zoom Bombing" incident. A group of white supremacists boom Black Caucus zoom call during involvement fair saying racial slurs, targeting members of their e-board, and even sexually exposing themselves.
Why would someone feel the need to target one of the student clubs on campus? Who would have the time of day to use racial slurs against a group of students. Everyone is trying to receive a higher education, so why target students because of how they look? It is unfair for the black community to continually go through racism, even at the comfort of their zoom call.
The question that the black community is asking is: "If we are not safe in our classrooms, on our campus, in our homes, in an online meeting, then where are we supposed to go?"