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UND Students Rally For Change to School Diversity Policy
A rally held on UND’s campus aims to enact policy changes at the school to better educate students on diversity and deal with racism on campus.
The rally comes after recent posts from UND students went viral.
One depicting three girls in black face and the other a post made on a black student’s Snapchat after her phone was taken by her roommates.
These incidents aren’t the first cases of racism on campus though.
“We have discussions of how people are being affected by racism more than I’d like to say and that’s to say that really we shouldn’t be having even one,” says President of UND’s Black Student Association Lauren Chapple.
Students here would like to see that number go down to zero, but to get there, they say the school needs to do a better job of educating students on diversity, retaining black students, and adopt a zero tolerance policy towards racism among students.
“We just want to see some change going on here. We just want to make sure that we’re supported and we matter,” says Queen Ngale President of African Student Union at UND.
One of the main parts of the rally was the opportunity for students to get up and share their experiences with racism on campus.
One of the speakers, who wanted to keep her name private, was the student who had her phone stolen in the snap chat scandal. She says the ordeal caused her a lot of emotional pain and interfered with her academic life.
“I just want some form of action to take place and not for the school to keep sweeping incidents like this under the rug,” she says addressing the crowd.
After a few more students share their experiences, UND President Mark Kennedy met with the rally organizers to discuss what the university can do to address the issue of racism on campus.
“When it comes to embracing all walk of out community and making them feel included and welcome we have work to do and I’m happy to have allies in working on that effort,” Kennedy says.
Kennedy says he has appointed a committee to look into making sure the schools policies are up to best practice standards and will work with the students on retention rates and making sure UND’s diversity education programs are effective.
Kennedy also says that after seeing the turnout at the rally he feels it’s clear that the student population has zero tolerance for racism on campus.