The Black Lives Matter movement has had a tangible impact on campus affairs. Following the police killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and others, black students across the United States protested seeking a wide variety of reforms. At Unemployed Professors we want to provide students with objective analysis of these events, and their immediate impact on campuses nationwide.
One of the most significant and telling effects of the BLM protest movement is its impact on campus police reforms; though, university administrations have moved to reform in other areas, as well. Though marginal, these collective reforms are significant in their precedent: the University of Maryland divested from the 1033 program, the federal program that supplies surplus military equipment to the police; the University of Minnesota formally cut ties with the city police department in the wake of the killing of George Floyd; numerous universities have renamed buildings honoring historical figures with associations to slavery and racist policy; and many institutions have introduced new scholarships exclusively for minority students.
The trivial nature of these gestures is not lost on student activists. The most common change has been the widespread issue of anti-racism statements; few systemic changes are evident. As a result, everywhere on American campuses this fall we are seeing student activists pressuring administration for sweeping change. Deniece Dortch, a George Washington University professor has observed a marked “rise in racial agency” in students this Fall semester. Prof. Dortch is quick to condemn university administrations for their turgid response: “Institutions refuse to act in ways that move the needle toward liberation, racial equity, and justice.”
BLM activists and many others are also calling for more far-reaching, and widespread reform. Some of the more extreme demands include defunding the police; however, this sentiment is not commonly held; the movements larger goals as they pertain to campuses tend to focus on severing ties with police, racial diversification of the campus, and diminishing the educational opportunity gap. Common specific demands include: increasing faculty hires of minorities, introducing more mental health professionals of color to campuses, developing and implementing a mandatory first-year class on the impact of racism on campus, and design of a reporting system for incidents of racial bias that has clearly articulated and meaningful results.
We at Unemployed Professors cannot assume to know the answer to this problem, only to delineate it. The move made by the University of Minnesota to disassociate from local police, and assume control of campus policing is bold. Colleges have always been in the vanguard of positive, progressive social change. They can and must do their part in leading the movement to end unnecessary police violence, and especially race-based violence. This is the logical first move in initiating other changes for racial justice on campus. While the problem of racial injustice is broad and complex, the calls made for just policing on campus are reasonable, and would be a much more meaningful response to the BLM movement than issuing toothless anti-racism statements.
Feel free to ask the team of academic writers at UnemployedProfessors.com any questions you may have regarding their online college writing services and they will be more than happy to guide you along the arduous path!