A group of students have found themselves once again in a place where they can’t feel the school’s support. As discussions begin among students and administration, the classic question is raised: are the students right or is the administration?
A group of about 30 students lined the doors to the Mabel Brown Room last Friday to conduct a silent protest because they felt that the Office of Multiculturalism and Diversity was not receiving enough financial support from the school, as well as support in the form of bodies available in the office daily for students who need a friend.
Every student had their own personal story that led them to the protest. Some students worried they would not be able to return to KSC for the next academic year because their multiculturalism scholarship was not being renewed. Many were also upset that their only faculty member, Colber Prosper, is leaving on April 16. Although they all praised Prosper’s work with the office, they worry what the school will do when he leaves.
On the side of the administration and staff, they feel that perhaps the work other departments are doing to help this office have not been vocalized clearly or enough. Dottie Morris, the chief officer of the office of multiculturalism and diversity, admits that some of the blame may be on her for not communicating enough with the concerned students. But there’s more to the story than one person not communicating enough. There is the issue of all these students whose scholarships have been “cut” to their knowledge or will not be renewed.
In speaking with the Vice President of Finance and Planning, Karen House, for a follow-up story in next week’s issue of The Equinox, she voiced that perhaps several of these students who no longer have their scholarships could not meet academic requirements or violated other conditions that these scholarships may have. But it’s very hard to believe that all of these students couldn’t make a 2.5 or a 3.0 GPA requirement, and therefore lost their scholarship. Especially only students who are all associated with the same office.
The Equinox’s advice for these struggling students is to go to financial aid and speak with your personal finance adviser, and see what you can find out. Ask open-ended questions, House suggested, and don’t feel bad if you have to keep saying, “I don’t understand.” If your financial struggle doesn’t seem to fall into this category, then keep asking. The Equinox is working diligently to investigate where this problem is coming from and why this booming office can’t seem to get the adequate financial support.
As many seniors will agree, the diversity on this campus has grown significantly in the last four years. It’s very noticeable. So if the college is succeeding in enrolling more students with diverse backgrounds, was the school perhaps not ready for the great increase in diverse students wanting to apply? One thing’s for sure, diversity is increasing, and no one can push the issue aside anymore. We all must work together to understand each other’s needs and do the best we can with what we have.