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Saturday, May 8, 2021

Viking Voices: “What does campus racism look or sound like to you?”

“What does campus racism look or sound like to you?”



Keanna Hammons


Community Health Major

“I haven’t directly encountered [racism], but Western has had problems, especially the first quarter of this year, and so I hear about it. It’s in the campus papers and occasionally on the news, but I haven’t directly encountered it.”


LueZeke Lue


Communication Sciences and Disorders and Kinesiology Major


“I haven’t personally dealt with racism on campus, but I know that there’s a sense of loneliness when you’re the only minority as far as the eye can see. As far as overt racism: I haven’t dealt with it, but sometimes when you have certain achievements, like you go to the gym and you just happen to be strong, people might say it’s because of your race, like ‘Oh you’re African American of course you’re strong,’ as opposed to the fact that you workout all the time. Or, if you get really good grades, they’ll say it’s because you’re African American instead you just happen to be really smart. That’s the only ways that I’ve seen [racism] or heard it.”


RocqueWayne Rocque


Sociology and Political Science Major

“Western, given what’s happened two years ago with what Bruce Shepard has said [about diversity at Western] and what happened in the fall of last year, those are in many ways not unique incidents to Western and are part of the Western experience and what people of color experience on a regular basis here at Western, and what, in many cases, white students perpetuate on a regular basis. I feel that the current racial climate is not good. In fact it’s terrible, and it needs work. Western prides itself on being a liberal institution, but there’s nothing liberal about the way students act to other students and the way faculty sometimes treat other students of marginalized identities.I feel students of color, especially black students, face a particular anti-blackness on campus and it’s inexcusable and all students at Western, especially the white students and students of full-privileged identities, have a responsibility to unpack that. I would say that the racial climate at Western is particularly tense, but it’s only tense because it’s been brought to the forefront. It’s always been tense for students of color, and we’ve always been facing hostility and racism and microaggressions on a daily basis, if not an hourly basis.”




Shearyna Labasan



“I think [campus racism] looks like cliques of people who are the same, culturally and ethnically, hanging out together and excluding others, or it sounds like people rude towards a certain culture.”



McKinnonChristopher McKinnon



“I guess I haven’t really been bothered by it, but some other people have been bothered by it more than I have.”



DecenaElizabeth Decena


Early Childhood Education


“Stereotyping [someone] to a major degree and racially pointing someone out.”



Rachel SullivanRachel Sullivan



“Excluding minorities and not being conscious of what we are saying when we are saying it. We should be careful when we’re on social media, especially because it’s so easy to say anything when you’re anonymous.”


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