University Rejects Proposal To Give Black Students Free Tuition As Reparations For Slavery
It is apparent that the whole “40 acres and a mule” promise is not happening. As a result, students at Western Kentucky University requested administration grant African-American students free tuition. This two-page resolution sparked a lot of discussion regarding the barriers preventing African-Americans and higher education. Student Government Association along with WKU’s student body agreed that this was a creative way to recognize “a debt that will never be paid.” The administration denied this clever proposal but WKU’s message was well-received.
The pupils at WKU declared that “standardized testing perpetuates and upholds white supremacy.” The goal of the SGA President, Jay Todd Richey, was to advocate more attainable higher education. In the past, schools such as the University of Wisconsin-Madison have tried tactics such as free tuition and housing for African-American students.
Being that the majority of African-Americans are at a disadvantage when it comes to a quality education, these students did not feel as though this was too much to ask. Various factors such as poverty, location, test scores and poor secondary education in low-income areas contribute to African-Americans pursuing higher-level education. With only 15% of American college students being African-American in comparison to 58% being white, there is a reason to believe there are obstacles preventing pursuit of a degree. Despite WKU’s administration’s denial of the SGA’s proposal, their voices and issues were heard and even supported nationwide.