Letter to the Editor

Eskedar Robinson

Dear Editor,

I have been at UW Oshkosh for six semesters and have not had an African-American professor. I am a black student with an African-American studies minor but have been limited in the opportunity to speak to African-American academic personnel about common ideologies.

Don’t get me wrong, I have had a couple of amazing professors that educated me in the history of the Civil War, but I want to have a conversation about what’s going on in the 21st century without feeling guilty about my opinions.

Not only is it hard speaking your mind in a classroom where you are one of the only African-American students, but when the professor is also white, it can alter your response. Some say it does not matter who is teaching if you are learning what you need, but that’s not enough. I want to unapologetically speak my mind in a setting where I feel I will not be judged.

At this institution, we lack the diversity to give representation and a sense of belonging to minorities, and resolving this issue is going to take some time, but it’s not impossible. As a college, we need to have a better cultural understanding and emphasis on what it means to be black at UWO, whether you are a student or faculty member.

It’s never too late to start hiring minority faculty members to be a part of this campus. We ask why there are not many students of color and why the retention rate on minorities is not great, but we must be honest about what we see when we look into these classrooms. Making small changes will have a big results for the future of this campus.

Eskedar Robinson