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SDSU Official, Student Talk About Race Issues On Campus

SDSU Official, Student Talk About Race Issues On Campus
SDSU Official, Student Talk About Race Issues On Campus
SDSU Official, Student Talk About Race Issues On Campus GUESTS: Aaron Bruce, chief diversity officer, San Diego State University Ashley Haughton, secretary, Association of Africana Studies Majors & Minors at San Diego State University

After reports of racial incident, heads of colleges from the University of Missouri to Clermont have re-signed. Clermont state a rally was held in solidarity of Massoud. One Muslim student said that she was attacked on campus. That incident being investigated as a hate crime. Have a college campuses handle incident of racism or micro-aggression? We will discuss this with the head of diversity with SD SCU, Aaron Bruce and Ashley Houtman, who is a double major of African studies majors and minors. What I would like to start off with is the baseline. Ashley, what is it like to be an African-American student on this campus. Describe your experience? First off, I am very proud to be a student at San Diego University. But be in an African-American is much like being an African American person in our society. At the end of the day, it is a reflection of our society at large. As African-American we face racism in every aspect of our lives because we live in a racialized society. I have -- as a student, I go to the fact that sometimes in my class I am the only African-American student. That might not seem like something is a big issue, but in reality it is. Best not only saying something to African-American students but the student body at large. White isn't that my is this class are science class only has one student. How does that affect you as a student? The only African-American in the classroom. It's the idea of isolation. Why am I here? I don't feel welcome or part of the group. I really have to fight harder and have much more mental aptitude to be able to push through that kind of adversity. We do it all the time. It's not something that is impossible but something you really shouldn't have to do especially with our university claiming to be so diverse. It's not something we should have to face Eric To get in the positioning classroom where you have to speak for the African-American question mark Certainly. That's not exclusive to San Diego State. That's across the board from kindergarten up. It is an attempt to get the African-American perspective but you cannot rely on one person to give you that. That should not come from one voice. You should be integrated in the African-American community by taking after, classes and stuff like that. Also there should be a higher African-American presence of that one student does not have to be the voice for the whole student. Described micro-aggression. Like being told you're pretty for a black girl. Do you hear that on this campus question mark I think some people think it is a compliment but it is a backhanded side of complement. Micro-aggression is called a phenomenon but it has been in existence since the first slave came over to American soil. It's not a new phenomenon. It is just the everyday thing that are the result of racism being a part of our institution and policy. The fact there are only 3.8% African-American population is a part of institutional racism that micro-aggression is born out of. Aaron Bruce, is anything she is saying -- is she painting an accurate representation of the campus of how she behaves question mark Her reality is legitimate. We do have an amazingly diverse campus but we also work with a variety of students from multiple lifestyles and I'm dignity coming to our campuses. One of the challenges I see is the K-12 or pre-Kate 12 system has not adequately prepared our young people to be successful leaders on a diverse campus. It is difficult for them to have the language or the tools are the ability to engage in the topic of diversity if they had never experienced it in kindergarten or middle school or high school. When those individual merge into society --. Most come from lower schools where they are the overwhelming majority. Whoever they are they are the overwhelming majority of their high school. It depends. We have 3500 military families in student veterans honor campus as well as their dependents. We have a diverse space where people are coming from very different points of view, socioeconomic diversity, urban or suburban environments, very diverse schools are homogenous schools. The challenge is K-12 may not be laying an appropriate foundation for inclusion. We have a higher expectation on how students engage with one another and how they engage in society at large. Then it becomes Ashley's problem when she becomes to this campus question mark No. It's a national problem. Everyone needs to be part of the solution. That is what makes San Diego State great because we have multiple levels throughout the University faculty staff, students, administrator, alumni and committee members that come together to address institutionalize racism and discrimination on a regular basis. When you come in that situation and you feel like I'm not being treated fairly, like an outsider in my own campus where I paid to come here what you do? All of the amazing organization, counseling center, student affairs, a variety of groups in the community. I think we also moved for a from St. one office should support a student. One of the interesting thing I have seen is the initiative. It allows students to learn about difference. Grace is a large part of that, but difference we avoid in the United States educational system frequently. That is what happening in a professional setting or individual have biases. Are we fixing it on campuses questioner To participate in events and step outside their comfort zone. Not a one-time activity that takes place throughout their academic career. First there -- year through senior year, that helps understand the diversity in the world and differences and to respect that and honor those differences. As University we educate about differences. Ashley, you have been here for years. Do you sense change is happening question mark I would say when I entered this campus, I'm not the person I was today. Being an African-American person, I didn't necessarily think racism as I do now. I think it is more change on my end and how I view everything now. If I could comment on things you are saying about how we can help the diversity issue on campus, I do things things like culture diversity training or competency training are good, but understanding what racism looks like an San Diego University. Sometimes you over here that we forget racism exist. It doesn't have to exist as blatantly as in Ferguson. Being so opaque that you not see it at all. There has to be an education on what racism looks like before we can move on to the training aspect. It's not all a deferred act but a climate that impacts everybody on campus. Unfortunately, but because of today's topic, we don't have the time that we should take. I'm going to have to thank my guest, Aaron Bruce and Ashley, a fourth-year double major of African-American studies in social work MSDS you.

A wave of protests against racial discrimination have taken over college campuses across the U.S. this year.

School officials from Claremont McKenna College to the University of Missouri president resigned in light of recent incidents.

And a few weeks ago, San Diego State students held a rally in solidarity with the protests at Mizzou.

So how is race being talked about on college campuses in San Diego and how are complaints of racism being addressed?

Aaron Bruce, chief diversity officer at San Diego State, said the community is incredibly diverse compared to other universities, but racism remains a nationwide problem.

“Everyone needs to be a part of the solution,” Bruce told KPBS Midday Edition on Thursday. “We have multiple levels throughout the university that come together all the time to address institutionalized racism.”

Despite SDSU being diverse, senior Ashley Haughton said there’s still an idea of isolation on campus.

“I’m a very proud Aztec,” said Haughton, an African-American. “Being an African-American student is much like being an African-American person in society. As African-Americans, we face racism in every aspect of our lives.”

Haughton said she’s sometimes the only African-American student in her class.

“That’s not only saying something to African-American students, but it’s also saying something to the student body at-large.”