Black Students at Duke Press to Make Their Voices Heard

A campus group of African-Americans has created a “call to action” document they hope will push the university to give minorities more support. 

Posted: 01/25/2012 01:53 PM EST

African-American students at Duke University are still not satisfied with the response given to them by university officials after students called for greater responsiveness to the needs of minorities on campus. Students have protested a study the university released stating that Black students are disproportionately likely to switch to easier majors.


On Tuesday, a group of about two dozen students urged administrators to create a better climate and provide more financial support for Black students. Thus far, they have been disappointed with how top officials have reacted to their viewpoints.


“The university has affirmed through media outlets that it has a commitment to meeting the needs of all its students, including Black students,” Nana Asante, a senior psychology major and president of the Black Student Alliance told the Associated Press. “We have yet to witness any action that reflects this supposed truth.”


The students, most of whom were Black, sought a meeting with the university president Richard Brodhead, but their efforts were unsuccessful. They hoped to explain a document they are calling a “call to action,” in response to the study about Black students choosing less-difficult majors. They also wished to express their concerns about the future location of a Black culture center and lack of support for a Black student group’s annual event.


The students cite the research as just one example of characteristics throughout the school that make many Black students feel uncomfortable.


In response to the students, university spokesman Mike Schoenfeld said that the university welcomes their call to action and the students’ recommendations.


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(Photo: AP Photo/The Herald-Sun, Christine T. Nguyen)