George Washington University Student Writes Column Calling for School to Change its Name
“Despite alleged efforts by administration to enhance diversity, the admissions office continues to fail to ensure a student body with adequate minority representation.”
Why should George Washington University change its name? Yale hasn’t changed its name and Elihu Yale was actively involved in the slave trade.
Caleb Francois is a senior at GWU. He wrote this op-ed for the Washington Post:
George Washington University needs a new name
Last year, George Washington University’s Cloyd Heck Marvin Center — named for a segregationist — was renamed the University Student Center in response to student calls for a name change. The name change streamlined with calls for racial justice in a modern era in which students across the country are demanding change. As our nation’s history of slavery, Jim Crow, red lining and other discriminatory policies toward African Americans has never been fully addressed or atoned for, these pleas for racial justice are a reflection of a shifting paradigm in American politics in which compromise and intolerance are no longer an option. However, the renaming of the University Student Center falls short in addressing the main issues of systemic racism and inequality still present on campus.
Racism has always been a problem at GW. At the university’s founding in 1821, enrollment was restricted to White men. In 1954, then-university president Marvin employed numerous efforts to preserve segregation, arguing for a “homogenous” group of White students. In 1987, Black students organized to demand more visibility in a predominantly Black city where Black students were outnumbered by huge majorities. Today, with Black enrollment at about 10 percent, Black students on campus continue to struggle for community. Despite alleged efforts by administration to enhance diversity, the admissions office continues to fail to ensure a student body with adequate minority representation.
Black professorship also remains low, especially in the university’s International Affairs program. Limited Black professors teaching African and African American courses and the continued neglect of Black academia and Black professorship create a campus culture in which European studies and White perspectives are favored over Black perspectives. No African languages are taught at the university, and calls for reforms are often ignored.
These problems are rooted in systemic racism, institutional inequality and white supremacy.
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Someone should tell the little privileged pipsqueak that without George Washington, he’d probably be British and bowing to the Queen, or part of the Commonwealth and bleating about breaking away
Dear sniveling pants-wetting Studies major:
– signed –
Dean T G Grizzly
Every Dean from every SNL movie was 100% right.
A cricket screaming at an eagle.
The young man is ahead of his time. They aren’t going to do that for at least a year or so.
This opinion piece was written for “The Washington Post.” Why is there no mention of the Washington Post changing it’s name? Huh? Huh? It’s the same Washington. How about Washington DC changing it’s name? What a hypocrite.
There seems to be an unexamined premise here. Why should I care about “adequate minority representation”? What, exactly, makes this necessary or valuable, and what educational standards should be abolished to accomplish it?
That’s quite bizarre, inasmuch as that is several times the proportion of 18-22 year old blacks in the general population. How are they being inadequately enrolled?
I wonder why black students would want to attend GWU if ” No African languages are taught at the university?” Every school has its strengths and weaknesses. Students should enroll in GWU if they want to study an area where GWU has an existing strength. For most of its history, GWU has sought out a student body from beyond Washington DC. So measuring the diversity of GWU’s student body against the population of DC is not evidence of anything, including evidence of discrimination.
If they want to go to a university that teaches African languages, do I have a deal for them.
Where is Animal House when we need them?