BSU addresses concerns and safety with President McGee
By Reggie Austin
Black Student Union executive officers held a meeting with Quincy University President Brian McGee on Tuesday, Dec. 3.
BSU President Aloysius Cooper voiced his concerns about speaking up for African American students and their safety.
Cooper asked McGee’s opinion on campus incidents involving the usage of the n-word.
“The student did something stupid and they have to deal with the consequences. There were a couple of incidents that were contextually different from the other incidents. It should not be tolerated,” McGee said.
Cooper reiterated his stance on an email sent from Vice President for Mission and Ministry Fr. John Doctor addressing issues between students, stating he felt the email should have come from the president directly.
“Some people had no idea what the email was for. Students are notorious for not checking their emails,” Cooper said.
McGee said that there was another incident on campus that involved gender identity.
CJ Cunningham is the vice-president of BSU. He spoke on behalf of other students who have reached out to him.
“We don’t feel protected on campus. We need to feel secure. When hate speech is used, we all need to speak on it, address it, and deal with it appropriately,” Cunningham said.
Cunningham was disappointed in the way it was handled.
“This behavior is not acceptable, especially when I feel at home here. The whole community dropped the ball on this one,” Cunningham said.
McGee responded with his personal sentiments.
“I am not taking any excuses on racism or usage of racial slurs. When we make mistakes, we will take full responsibility. I will deal with it directly,” McGee said.
McGee asked BSU on how they should have handled it and also asked what the university could do as a whole to better the situation.
Twyla Jones, the treasurer of BSU, suggested making training mandatory on campus.
“Title IX has its own training. We need to have a hate speech training course or something to that effect. Make the course personable so that the meaning does not diminish in any way,” Jones said.
“I think it should be mandatory within the curriculum, as electives aren’t aimed at the audiences that need to hear this,” he said.
Grace Neema, the public relations chair of BSU, opened the discussion to faculty openings among the community.
“We need more inclusivity to showcase our diversity. I would like to see more people like me on the faculty, I know other minorities want to feel included,” Neema said.
McGee noted the need to expand in the university.
“We need to recruit students and faculty outside of the normal 50-mile radius. We should create a chief of diversity office,” McGee said.
CJ Cunningham talked about the reason why minorities need representation in education.
“Other faculty have not been through what we have been through. None of the white faculty have been called the n-word and felt unsafe. That’s the black community. I’d like to know I’m not alone in this,” Cunningham said.
All of those who attended agree that with a more diverse staff, a different of culture on campus would be created.
“We should address this directly. Now is the time to get the ball rolling and get on a better track. I appreciate you for hearing me throughout this learning experience,” McGee said.