‘We need to see actual change': AU students list demands for amid protests
AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - As protests for racial equality erupt around the country, students are fighting the same battle on the campus of Augusta University. AU students are demanding their voices be heard. This comes after an email sent by an adjunct faculty member surfaced online.
In the email, the faculty member calls a recent student-led protest “disgraceful.”
“It’s really important right now more than ever for our university to take the right steps because all eyes are on them at the moment,” junior political science student Ashlee Copper said.
Students and alumni of AU are angry at what they say is a lack of response to racist incidents on campus. Taylor Powell, a 2018 AU graduate, says she experienced racism as a student.
“It’s been too long. It’s a shame. I’ve been a graduate for two years and nothing has changed,” she said.
Powell is currently working on a list of demands with the Black Student Union on campus.
The demands include the removal of racist historical monuments on campus, required racial bias training for staff, and a zero-tolerance policy for acts of discrimination.
“Change,” Powell said. “We need to see actual change.”
AU’s recently appointed chief diversity officer Dr. Tiffany Townsend says they are working on changes.
“We can’t flip the switch and make changes overnight, but we are actively working,” said Townsend.
She also wants students to know that their voices matter.
“Raising your voice, showing your discontent shows that you care enough about our community to want to make it better, and that’s a good thing,” Townsend said. “I appreciate that.”
Looking forward, Townsend is working on several diversity initiatives for the fall, including a website where students can easily report incidents of racism and track the progress AU is making. She says they are trying to create proactive change.
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