Letter to the Editor 2 – Issue 12

Letter+to+the+Editor+2+-+Issue+12

In this post‐civil rights America, with a growing diverse population and an African-American twice elected to presidency, it is most unfortunate we have indoctrinated that the circumstance of being black or multi‐cultural at Bucknell means that you are still subjected to someone else’s ignorance, namely racism. We are saddened to think that another generation of Bucknellians will endure the same climate of systematic indifference and racism that has existed throughout Bucknell’s history. For far too long we have accepted the cycle of fear, anger, pain, frustration, apathy, and indifference as a necessary progression of a black Bucknellian’s relationship with the University, first as students and later as alumni. Eventually, the passing of time and separation from the institution enables our indifference to be washed over with a subtle fondness. We then focus more on pleasantries and the lasting relationships built than on the totality of our racially challenged experience as Bucknellians.

Despite the University’s visible support of the under‐represented population with its 2014‐2019 Diversity Plan, the President’s Diversity Council, and President John Bravman’s swift action addressing the recent WVBU event, an unacceptable cycle of racism continues to be deeply embedded within our Bucknell community. Our utmost concern is for the safety of black and multi‐cultural students, some of whom have lost hope in the University to protect them from the ignorance of others and to accept them as an integral part of the larger Bucknell community. We cannot wait for another incident to occur, until a situation escalates from verbal to physical, or until our current and potential future black and multi‐cultural Bucknellians have decided that because of racism, Bucknell is not where they belong. We cannot wait for years to pass before our black and multi‐cultural alumni finally remember their Bucknell experience with fondness. We do not have time to waste; we must immediately address these painful racial divides. We, the Bucknell Black Alumni Board representatives, recognize that without our involvement, the cycle will continue, so we are committed to all current and future members of Bucknell’s black and multi‐cultural population. We know that change will not happen on its own, but with the active participation of us and the entire Bucknell community, change will come.

We, the undersigned representatives, as members of the Bucknell Black Alumni Association (BAA), call upon all fellow Bucknellians to help us create a more inclusive and accepting Bucknell community. The BAA has been working closely with members of the University Administration, from Admissions to Alumni Relations, to institute effective and lasting change. It is our hope and our goal that Bucknell becomes a model University, respected not only for its excellent academic tradition, but equally a welcoming and inclusive community for all, regardless of race. We implore our fellow Bucknellians, to stand with us, regardless of your race, as we pursue change through eradicating the poisonous systematic racism that has segregated and plagued our community. We also encourage all members of Bucknell’s diversity community (administration, faculty, students, and parents) to be courageous and promptly inform us, the BAA, the Diversity Council and Multicultural Student Services of all racial incidents, so that these matters can be fairly investigated in a timely manner and be effectively addressed by the University. President Bravman, who has demonstrated “zero tolerance,” was able to quickly and effectively address the WVBU racial incident because it was promptly and courageously brought to his attention. Let’s work together to create a better Bucknell that is more reflective of our country’s growing diverse population.

Bucknell Black Alumni Association President – Cynthia Mason‐Posey ’78

Chair, Programming – Kendy Alverez ’06

Chair, Admissions – Hugh B. M. Bailey ’82

Chair, Mentorship – Thomas Bennett ’06

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