NAACP to HSU: improve minority support or stop recruiting. Rossbacher: ‘that would be a giant step backward’

Mad River Union

HUMBOLDT – Dissatisfied with what it says is Humboldt State University's lack of support for students of color, the Eureka NAACP has called for the school to better serve students and aggressively address issues of racism in the community (see letter, above). Until it can do that, says the organization, it should cease all recruitment "and forgo the social and cultural diversity and revenue these students represent."

The letter lays out several immediate steps for the university to take to address problems students from other areas are having with "the realities of the racial and social climate in our small, rural communities."

These include more engagement with the City of Arcata and the community, "support" for students of color, more funding for Cultural Centers for Academic Excellence, making transparency about Humboldt's "climate of racism" the top priority in recruiting and marketing, more funding for programs that serve students, and more minority faculty members, with "cultural competency" training for faculty and staff.

In response, Humboldt State President Lisa Rossbacher issued the following statement:

“I was astonished that the Eureka NAACP chapter would suggest that HSU could or should stop recruiting students of color. HSU is deeply committed to diversity and equity, and that would be a giant step backward for the values and mission of this University. I know this group is committed to the ideals of the NAACP, and it must have been difficult for them to endorse this idea. It clarifies for me the depth of their concern.

I disagree with many of the statements in the letter, but I do agree with the larger point that HSU and the North Coast need to do more. Our country struggles with a history of racism and racial inequality on the national and local levels. We must find ways, and work together, to create a brighter future for all our students.”





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