The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

Open community forums hosted by DAC, discuss & combat race issues

On a sunny winter day, students, faculty and staff sat in a haphazard circle in Founders Hall.  Faculty and staff occupied one corner, while students spread out across the rest of the room. Shifting around in their seats, it was clear that individuals were hesitant to talk about the red-button topic.

Of the thirty-five people that showed up, most were white.

The March 5 “Race and Reality at Guilford” forum was sponsored by the Diversity Action Committee.

“(The DAC) is a (group) of representatives from most departments on campus, as well as students, charged with overseeing the implementation of the institutional diversity plan,” said Director for Diversity Training and Development Jorge Zeballos, co-chair of the DAC.

Zeballos made it clear that the point was to find solutions.

“The purpose of this forum is to create the kind of school we want to have, not just to complain,” said Zeballos.

The committee is united in their goal to bridge racial gaps. The job tackles Guilford’s struggles with diversity in segregated housing, black students’ desire to see more faculty that look like them, and students of color feeling uncomfortable speaking up.

One brave student broke the tension by describing what racism is to her.

“Some people think racism is one thing, but it’s actually the way you speak and the jokes you tell,” said senior Emily Morazán.  “That’s racism.

“Be aware of what you’re saying. It’s not okay to make those jokes.”

Junior and Latina Ines Sanchez De Lozada also helped in organizing the forum.  She believes some teachers do not know how to talk about diversity.

“A lot of these conversations can seem confrontational and hard to have, and this needs to change on all levels at this school,” said De Lozada. “It’s not just the way faculty addresses (race), but the way students interact with one another.”

Thinking back, Edwina Greene ’13 takes in a breath before timidly summing up her Guilford experience.

“I felt like there was bias (at Guilford),” said Greene in a phone interview. “I felt discrimination from the white female faculty. In a psychology class, two white girls made a racial remark about me, and I reported it to the instructor.  Nothing was done to those students.”

Junior and woman of color Ilari Pass grew outraged in a class she took last semester.  The instructor was white and the topic was African American theory.

“You can teach Black history until you are blue in the face, but you can never comprehend what we still have to deal with in this society,” said Pass to the instructor.

Underrepresentation of black students was not the only hot button touched on at the forum. Housing where residents are socially segregated was repeatedly mentioned at the heated meeting.

Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

The Guilfordian intends for this area to be used to foster healthy, thought-provoking discussion. Comments are expected to adhere to our standards and to be respectful and constructive. As such, we do not permit the use of profanity, foul language, personal attacks, or the use of language that might be interpreted as libelous. Comments are reviewed and must be approved by a moderator to ensure that they meet these standards. The Guilfordian does not allow anonymous comments, and requires a valid email address. The email address will not be displayed but will be used to confirm your comments.
All The Guilfordian Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *