Scrolling Headlines:

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May 18, 2017

UMass basketball’s Donte Clark transferring to Coastal Carolina -

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Report: Keon Clergeot transfers to UMass basketball program -

May 15, 2017

Despite title-game loss, Meg Colleran’s brilliance in circle was an incredible feat -

May 14, 2017

UMass softball loses in heartbreaker in A-10 title game -

May 14, 2017

Navy sinks UMass women’s lacrosse 23-11 in NCAA tournament second round, ending Minutewomen’s season -

May 14, 2017

UMass softball advances to A-10 Championship game -

May 13, 2017

UMass basketball adds Rutgers transfer Jonathan Laurent -

May 13, 2017

UMass women’s lacrosse gets revenge on Colorado, beat Buffs 13-7 in NCAA Tournament First Round -

May 13, 2017

Meg Colleran dominates as UMass softball tops Saint Joseph’s, advances in A-10 tournament -

May 12, 2017

Rain keeps UMass softball from opening tournament play; Minutewomen earn A-10 honors -

May 11, 2017

Former UMass football wide receiver Tajae Sharpe accused of assault in lawsuit -

May 10, 2017

Justice Gorsuch can save the UMass GEO -

May 10, 2017

Minutemen third, Minutewomen finish fifth in Atlantic 10 Championships for UMass track and field -

May 8, 2017

UMass women’s lacrosse wins A-10 title for ninth straight season -

May 8, 2017

Dayton takes two from UMass softball in weekend series -

May 8, 2017

Towson stonewalls UMass men’s lacrosse in CAA Championship; Minutemen season ends after 9-4 loss -

May 6, 2017

Zach Coleman to join former coach Derek Kellogg at LIU Brooklyn -

May 5, 2017

UMass men’s lacrosse advances to CAA finals courtesy of Dan Muller’s heroics -

May 4, 2017

On campus: The liberal assault on free speech -

May 4, 2017

SGA Secretary of Diversity wants to see campus community ‘evolve’ in the face of racial and ethnic hatred

(Katherine Mayo/ Daily Collegian)

(Katherine Mayo/ Daily Collegian)

Khalif Nunnally-Rivera, Student Government Association Secretary of Diversity and junior studying geography at the University of Massachusetts, said the campus has always dealt with issues of racial hatred in reference to recent acts of racial/ethnic vandalism.

“It’s just a continuous issue. I feel like it needs constant work,” he said. “There’s no one solution that’s going to fit everything. It’s something we’ve always struggled with.”

According to Nunnally-Rivera, “We just have to evolve … we need to change the environment.”

Nunnally-Rivera said he joined the SGA in this positon because of his passion for social issues and justice.

“I wanted to be in a position where I could have a positive effect and be able to come up with policies that help students of color and marginalized students on campus,” he explained.

Last week, the Daily Collegian published a story on the three swastikas found on campus and other instances of racial/ethnic vandalism in recent years, calling it a trend.

Nunnally-Rivera disagreed with that title: “I don’t think it’s a trend so much as it just shows the atmosphere of our campus that we are not as inclusive as we make ourselves out to be,” he said. “The idea that we’re considered a liberal college – I think that that throws people off, thinking that we don’t have issues that we need to work on ourselves.”

Leykia Brill, assistant provost for diversity at UMass, also questioned whether or not these acts constitute a trend. In an email to the Daily Collegian she wrote, “I don’t know if this sort of act is a growing trend, per se- I haven’t done the research to know how we compare to other schools. I can say that it happens on campuses all across the country, however. I can also say that these sorts of things have been happening for decades.”

Both Brill and Nunnally-Rivera said the administration is doing work to improve the climate on campus.

Nunnally-Rivera is an ex-officio member on the Diversity Steering Committee with other members of the SGA and administration, where he works with the committee and advises them on special projects. He evaluates the Diversity Strategic Plan as part of his work with the Diversity Steering Committee and the Social Justice and Empowerment committee.

“We’re looking at ways the University will implement that plan, ways we can improve upon it, and also just the execution of that plan in general,” he said.

Nunnally-Rivera also wants to see the SGA step up its role in raising awareness and finding solutions to these issues. He pointed out that the organization was not as involved in the mobilization against racism that took place on campus after racial slurs were written on the door of then-SGA Diversity Secretary Josh Odam’s door.

“It’s in our by-laws, it should be in our values to create a community that’s inclusive, that calls out acts of hatred,” Nunnally-Rivera said.

“I feel that we should always be working to study these social issues, mitigating the effects of racial hatred and then when they do happen, we (should) have a swift and decisive response – no matter who is in power,” he added.

Nunnally-Rivera is reaching out to different groups on campus to discuss diversity, saying he wants to “get their take on what’s going on. And actually have people’s voices represented.”

“Oppression doesn’t really show itself how it (used to) anymore, not in the ways that people are familiar with,” he said. “So it’s up to people to educate themselves on actions that could be considered oppressive and calling them out when they see them.”

Marie MacCune can be reached at mmaccune@umass.edu and followed on Twitter @MarieMacCune.

Comments
One Response to “SGA Secretary of Diversity wants to see campus community ‘evolve’ in the face of racial and ethnic hatred”
  1. Zac Bears says:

    These racist acts are not a trend. If anything, the refusal to accept racism any longer and the consequent coverage of protests and other anti-racist actions are finally bringing the prevalence of racism on the UMass campus into view. Students must keep bringing attention to the everyday racism perpetrated by UMass students, and students, administrators, and faculty must continue to develop newer, stronger policies to challenge pervasive whiteness on-campus.

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