Despite support, diversity petition must be scrutinized

Despite support, diversity petition must be scrutinized

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In recent weeks, a “Petition for Babson College Faculty, Staff, and Administration” has circulated among students. After making the rounds on social media, it was distributed to all undergraduate students through an email from the Student Government Association. A response to recent events regarding race relations at other schools, it has met strong public support. Yet however admirable the push for diversity and inclusion is, important points have been overlooked.

Before anything else, I must commend the authors for their accomplishment. Compared to other schools, Babson does not often engage in campus-wide discussions. The authors managed to leverage current events to promote change, and, no matter how I feel about their specific propositions, I’m glad to be having the conversation.

In discussing this petition, we must first define diversity. This is its first failing; despite advocating “diversity and inclusiveness,” it does not specify what these mean.

There are a few ways to measure Babson’s diversity. First of all, there are the traditional means: the percentage of each race, gender, nationality, sexual orientation, and so on represented on campus. According to Babson’s website, the Class of 2018 features 31 percent multicultural students, 25 percent international students, 43 countries represented, and 29 languages spoken. Overlooking the peculiar classification “multicultural,” and assuming everyone not “multicultural” at Babson is white, we are left with a 69 percent white population.

The percentage of bachelor’s degrees conferred to white American college graduates in 2013 was 67.3 percent, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. This means that Babson’s diversity is, at least in this narrow sense, almost exactly representative of college graduates.

These, of course, are just surface measures. The type of diversity that really matters—the type that enriches us all—is diversity of experiences. So, to what extent are all types of diversity supported at Babson?

Well: Babson has a Diversity and Inclusion Council. Babson employs a Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer. Babson has Community Unity Educators. Babson has Origins of Necessary Equality and PRIDE Tower. Babson features Multicultural Fairs, AMAN shows, and Black Affinity Conferences. Babson celebrates Martin Luther King Jr. Legacy Day, Black History Month, and Coming Out Week. Babson is home to the Babson Asian Pacific Student Organization, the Babson African Student Organization, Babson Hillel, the Association of Latino Professionals in Finance & Accounting, and the Black Student Union. Babson holds weekly Catholic masses, Shabbat dinners, and Muslim prayer services. Babson awards full- and half-tuition Diversity Leadership Awards and honorary Pride Awards.

Babson offers courses on Hinduism and Buddhism, Arabic Cinema and Culture, Critical Race Studies, South Asian History, African Diaspora Studies, and African American Literature. Many FYS courses discuss diversity, and certain Rhetoric II courses center on race relations in America.

President Healey sent out a special message detailing her thoughts on a Babson Intercultural Group meeting she attended in the wake of Mizzou and outlining her commitment to diversity.

In the event that a hate crime is perpetrated, Babson has a detailed Bias Incident Report Protocol and a Bias Incident Response Team. Thankfully, it has not seen much use. In 2013 and 2014, “no hate crimes were reported for any of the following categories of prejudice: race, gender identity, national origin, religion, ethnicity, disability, or sexual orientation,” according to annual Public Safety reports.

Babson has a gold STARS rating, for which it received perfect scores in the subcategories “Diversity and Equity Coordination,” “Support for Underrepresented Groups,” and “Support for Future Faculty Diversity.”

An early November draft of Babson’s new Academic Master Plan, composed before this petition, calls for faculty to “promote diversity, inclusion and integrity across campus,” and includes actionable suggestions.

Yet the petition states, bafflingly: “We want diversity and inclusion at Babson to be a reality, not a brand.” To me, it could not be clearer that Babson celebrates and practices diversity of every type.

I’m not saying “mission accomplished,” nor am I denying the experiences of any individual. I am, however, emphatically rejecting the premise of the petition. Diversity and inclusion at Babson may not be perfect, but the school’s commitment certainly doesn’t “ring false.”

The Free Press’ most recent editorial explained the dangers of conflating Mizzou and Yale. In the petition’s first paragraph, it does just that—then, discursively, brings in Babson. To conflate Mizzou and Yale is tragic enough; to sloppily commingle Mizzou with Babson is offensive in both directions.

Babson’s commitment to diversity is part of why it’s a great school, and part of why I love it. I’ve tasted authentic Korean food prepared by my tower-mates, studied and discussed race relations with classmates, and listened to the experiences of my friends or their relatives, about Mexico or Dubai or Ghana. These are the fruits of true diversity: an expansion of one’s worldview that leads to greater empathy. Inclusion is about appreciating our differences, and Babson affords priceless opportunities to do so.

It is impossible to fault the authors’ intentions. Diversity and inclusion are not just virtues; for an institution that prides itself on a quality education, they are necessary commitments. But it is equally impossible to overlook the petition’s faulty premise and sweeping demands, both of which prove untenable.

“So what?” one might say. “What could be the harm in raising awareness?” Nothing at all. But the petition makes specific demands, some of which would be detrimental if adopted.

First of all, it requests that diversity be “embedded in everything from Accounting to IT to FME, SME, ASM, FYS, and on throughout our undergraduate and graduate curricula,” due to the fact that “attention to diversity is the future of a productive, inclusive, and just society.”

Yet it also requests “a full audit of Babson’s current undergraduate and graduate curricula and faculty to determine…the diversity of existing cases.” The authors put the cart before the horse. Before we “courageously [edit] curricula,” let us discuss to what extent it is necessary.

Business is not so pure a pursuit as, say, particle physics. One can’t become well versed in business without studying diversity. This is why half of Babson’s curriculum is liberal arts, and why all of the clubs, events, and resources listed above exist. If there is a notable lack of diversity in the curriculum, it must be addressed. But diversity should not be shoehorned into lesson plans at the expense of core course material.

The petition also demands “a funded commitment to recruit, retain and promote more domestic diverse faculty (Opportunity Hires), specifically those of Black/African-American, and Hispanic-American backgrounds.”

When I pay Babson $64,000 a year, I expect the school to use that money to hire the best professors possible—period. If a black candidate’s experiences would make them a better professor, I would be thrilled to have them open my mind. The same is true for a candidate’s education or work experience or sexual orientation. A focus on hiring faculty rich in experiences will naturally lead to diversity in all other areas. The petition confuses cause and effect.

There is also a request for “a report on the current state (e.g., numbers, positions, time in position, salary) of domestic diversity amongst Babson’s current faculty and staff to ensure equity”—a demand I support completely. And yet, by the authors’ own admission, they don’t even know the state of diversity among Babson staff. How, therefore, could the petition possibly advocate “more domestic diverse faculty?”

I also support the request for “the utilization of orientation as a platform for not only open discussion, but also to set explicit standards.” “Explicit standards” sounds a little prescriptive to me, but I am always in favor of open discussion, and orientation seems like the perfect forum.

President Healey says she now sees the need for “dedicating more resources to our inclusion efforts.” It should be considered that every dollar put towards the petition’s demands is money that could be dedicated elsewhere: campus improvements, curriculum development, student life, or health and wellness.

Finally, and most concerning to me, there is a want of true discussion. I have spoken with perfectly reasonable people—people completely in favor of diversity and inclusion—who will not voice their concerns for fear of public backlash.

This fear cannot have been helped by the Student Government Association, who, despite their motto as “the voice of the student body,” lent their support to the petition without an effort to discover how the student body actually feels about it. Based on my discussions, there exists at the very least a significant minority who disagrees with all or part of the petition.

Governments are allowed to take stances on issues. The U.S. government does it all the time. But the U.S. government declares itself “E pluribus unum,” not “Vox corporis scholastici.” There is no pretense of consensus; no burden of representation. I encourage the SGA to consider their role in such discussions, with the respectful suggestion that they cannot represent the student voice if they don’t know that it is.

If students are being made to feel marginalized, we must do something. But it would be dishonest to pretend that Babson is not committed to diversity. This issue is much too important to rush, much too important to evade scrutiny. We must think about what diversity really means, evaluate its current state at Babson, seek public input, and, if necessary, take well-considered action.

I urge administration to think hard about any changes they implement in response to this petition, and, more importantly, to get a real idea of how students feel about diversity and inclusion at Babson. They may discover, as have I, a plurality of opinions—including one which supports diversity and inclusion entirely, but cannot support this petition.


The Free Press welcomes all voices. Responses may be posted below as comments or emailed to freepress@babson.edu to be published as Letters to the Editor.

28 COMMENTS

  1. I often find it laughable when a white man attempts to educate the masses about diversity and inclusion. This time is no exception.

    I have been part of the Babson community for 20 years. As a potential student, I was excited about the opportunities a Babson degree would present. As an actual student, I was disheartened at often being the only American person of color in class. I was angered at a tenured professor’s ability to teach “The Bell Curve” as if it was science fact and not a racist load of BS. Yes, Babson has come a long way since then. So has American since slavery. Neither means we have reached a state of equity and inclusion.

    As one of the original founders of the Black Affinity Conference, I resent the implication that allowing a conference to happen equates a culture of diversity and inclusion. It was created by students; born out of necessity.

    To state that there have been “no reports” of bias on campus is not the same a saying “There Have been NO bias incidents on campus.” Are you not including Yik Yak because of its anonymous nature? I am not a student, but I do know of several bias incidents on campus during your timeline.

    By definition, diversity and inclusion means it is women into the very fabric and cannot be extricated from the culture. The petition speaks to that. When I visit high schools to talk about Babson or answer questions of perspective parents, they want to know that their child will be SAFE at Babson. That Babson will help nurture their student into thriving adults. It isn’t enough to have a Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer. Parents want to send their children to schools that have an entire OFFICE dedicated to diversity and inclusion. (And yes, OTHER schools have them.)

    Having. Just finished a Babson MBA in 13, I was astonished at how many cases have the staple “Harvard Business School white man.” Women are usually a sidebar in the story. Minority representation was usually relegated to an international component. Babson has alumni clubs and entrepreneurs all over the world. Isn’t it time we draw from our own fountain of diverse stories?

    Babson can do better. As an alum, I expect them to do better. In the not too distant future, Bradley, you will be a minority in America (even if not at Babson). Traditional institutions are facing ever more fierce competitor. Babson need to continue to attract the best and the brightest, acknowledging that international diversity does not absolve it from achieving domestic diversity.

    Btw, I substantiated my information back when I wrote for the Free Press.

    Still trying to be part of the solution,
    Leticia Stallworth ’99 M’13

    • It is so frustrating how some white people feel that they are credible enough to speak upon the subject of diversity and inclusion. They are not the ones facing the oppression and it is not their place to devalue an issue that a great amount of minorities have brought up. In the same way that straight people cannot speak for members of the lgbt+ community, a white person cannot rightfully speak for the minorities that are actually living the harsh reality of racism on campus. People need to learn to never speak upon a problem that does not directly affect them.

    • I do not understand how you could respond to a well written and reasonable response like this as “laughable” simply because it was written by a “white man”. You are essentially saying that this should be a one way conversation. Also many of your points are either incorrect or not relevant to Babson. You are saying things such as “the bell curve” is somehow racist rather than mathematical/”scientific”. The bell curve is just a way to normally distribute grades and literally has nothing to do with anything but numerical grade. Also, I think it’s a reach for you to say that Babson isn’t a currently a SAFE place for people of all races. Obviously things can always improve but supporting that by stating things such as Yik Yak posts as a major issue is pretty ridiculous.

  2. Well said. It frustrates me to read this petition and think that there are students on this campus whose priorities lie with continuing to fight the civil war- I have said time and time again the best way to achieve something like diversity is not through requesting Babson administration to hire black professors and include a diversity class in the required curriculum, but rather through extra curriculurs such as ONE PRIDE etc. it’s just absurd that these students are caught up complaining about lack of diversity in one of the most diverse schools in the country… People love to talk about white privilege but this is black privilege- they are always abusing the fact that they were oppressed centuries ago and this is their latest outcry for attention. Yes I feel bad about slavery and would absolutely reverse it given the option. Seriously you guys have the towers, people in SGA, anything you command is yours due to black privilege, and white society has trained you to think like this, which is why it isn’t surprising that this ‘petition’ has surfaced demanding Babson spend additional hundreds of thousands of dollars where they are already doing so. I mean ONE is arguably the most racist organization on campus they won’t even let me into their parties anymore because I’m white. Just absurd and very frustrating for white students who love the diversity that black people bring to campus but wishes we could all just be friends even if you guys already have your programs and organizations and funding and petitions for more funding. It’s a scam. When was the last time you saw a ‘Petition’ accomplish something? This is a social media ploy to freak the college out and attempt to silence black people by throwing money at them. Racism exists both ways and this petition is racist. Seriously. Babson hires the best professors based on merit, not skin color. To suggest Babson hire more professors based on skin color is fucking racist.

    Babson Admins- don’t track me down I’m not worth your time I am friends with plenty a black people and have no intentions of commuting hate crimes or being racist. I just think blacks are being so racist in this petition and we have trained them that it’s ok.

    • Dear Anonymous Student,
      While as a fellow student at Babson, it is important to take into consideration the thoughts of all individuals, your response to the petition clearly shows that you just do not understand it. The students are not asking for Babson to hire someone just because of their race. They are asking to explore other opportunities and hire the best candidate but not let race be the reason for them not getting hired. While it would be great for the issues of diversity to be solved through extracurricular activity, quite frankly, it is not enough. The reason that students are even writing a petition is because they do not feel the support of Babson. There is a clear difference between looking diverse and actually living it. The students on campus feel that Babson is just labeling the college as a diverse school when in reality there is clear segregation amongst them.
      Also, the issue of diversity is not just a black and white matter. If you think that only blacks feel this way then you are very wrong. There are many individuals who feel the divide on campus due to the color of their skin, origins of their upbringings, and social-economic statuses. The success rate of a petition is irrelevant because what it shows is that people actually care and feel the same way. In the end, the daily struggles of a minority cannot be felt in words and it is not something someone will ever understand unless they go through it themselves. Please reconsider your thoughts if you feel that getting SGA support and a tower will make up for all the years of suffering and oppression of slavery.
      Also O.N.E is an organization that does not revolve around festivities. So to claim an organization as racist because you were not let into our building seems very far-fetched. The reason people are not let in is due to capacity, crowdedness, etc. NOT race. We promote diversity through discussion and events regarding social issues that arise. If you were to attend any of our events then you would know that O.N.E is not a racist organization due to all the unique backgrounds that are present. So please refrain from such a sudden judgment.

      Another thing that I believe you must ask yourself is “What are you doing to promote diversity?” Being friends with “plenty a black people” does not make you all of a sudden a person who promotes diversity.

      Please feel free to reach out to me.

      From,
      Thomas Kim
      President of Origins of Necessary Equality
      Asian American

    • First off, there’s no such thing as Black privilege. The concept of privilege is essentially a structural, institutional, and social advantage. Of these, Black people have none. Black people trying to rectify systematic injustice does not mean that “reverse racism” is happening. WHITE PEOPLE ARE NOT OPPRESSED BY BLACK PEOPLE. Therefore, how can there be Black privilege if you’re not oppressed?

      Second, just because you have Black friends does not negate YOU from being racist. Which, let’s face it, you’re racist. I’m sorry, we as Black people don’t hand out “anti-racist” cards to our White friends.

      Third, Babson College’s Black population makes up about 4% of the student body… how is that the most diverse school in the world?

      Fourth, ONE tower is not a Black tower. ONE tower houses students of all races and ethnicities. I’ve seen Black people not get into ONE parties because it was literally too full… Did you ever think about that?

      Fifth, just because the petition calls out for more diversity in Babson’s hiring procedures does not mean that the teaching quality would somehow suffer. Did I miss the memo that Black people are not as intelligent as White people? Did you know that if someone has an “ethnic” name on their resume, that they’re 50 times less likely to get a callback from an employer. It’s probably not done intentionally. It’s probably that systematic racism that I just taught you about earlier.

      Your ignorance is absurd. Black people are not “trained” to do anything. I think we’re all smart enough to know that the enslavement of Black people in America is a thing of the past. What you’re not understanding is that society is based on a White/Black binary. Everything you do, everything you say, yours standard of beauty, your preferences, your ideologies, LITERALLY EVERYTHING is based on the fact that the cis gender White male is superior to the Black man. One is at the top of society and the other is at the bottom.

      You’re weak for hiding behind anonymity. You’re gutless for spewing unnecessary hatred. YOU. ARE. A. COWARD.

    • Dear Anonymous Current Student,

      I’d like to address your anonymity. The fact that you post your comment anonymously means that you know that your comment may follow with an accountability if you had put your name on it. You have every right to your own opinions of diversity on this campus. However, as TK (Thomas Kim) mentioned, you need to take into consideration the opinions besides your own. Comments like yours are why the petition has risen in the first place. Babson values diversity and seeks to create a safe place on this campus. Comments like these, especially when anonymous, make those who are not in the majority and in agreement feel unsafe that one of their fellow classmates have these prejudices.

      I will not repeat what has already been said here or in social media in regards to your comment. I will highly encourage you to take the Critical Race Studies course here at Babson taught by Professor Bruyneel. This course is one where one can discuss race globally, domestically, and at the campus level in a safe space and educate themselves to be able to articulate their opinions on the subject in a respectable and scholarly manner. Everyone can have their opinions, but these opinions must be articulated. No matter what your opinion on race on this campus may be, this course helps to better articulate them with respect.

      Finally, if white students love diversity so much and want to be friends, then stand with the students of color and diversity of ALL KINDS. Acknowledge that whether you realize it or not, white privilege exists. Kayla brings up excellent points as to the power white privilege has. Check yourself, educate yourself, learn and act with that education. Take that course, it’ll help you and better your respect around others.

    • I rarely post things, especially when pertaining to contentious issues, because it is not the medium to facilitate important discussions. Without getting into the details of this anonymous man and also the Babson free press piece of content that has been published I first commend both of you for actually speaking your mind, this is something that needs to happen for progress.
      In response to the article, I think this is absurd. There was a thoughtful argument, but it is foolish to provide this argument without even attending the meetings and listening to the calls of the minority groups on this campus. I also hope that in the process of evaluating this petition and our campus we all pay attention to the last point of the petition, which is we need to create a system where students feel comfortable reporting content to administrators. They need to be available to help address problems pertaining to hate speech and discriminatory practices on campus, something I know all to well. I hope the anonymous person and the “Babson Free Press Article” shed a light on the problems at hand in our community and the extreme disconnect. ONE CLARIFICATION IS RACIAL CONFLICT AND HATE SPEECH HAS BEEN REPORTED AND MEMBERS OF ADMINISTRATION FAILED TO DO ANYTHING ABOUT IT.
      I WITNESSED IT AGAINST THE JEWISH STUDENTS AND AFRICAN AMERICANS AND MY GUESS IS MANY MORE… BUT YOU CAN NOT BLAME US FOR TRYING TO WORK WITHIN THE SYSTEM. I thank administrators for now attempting to paying attention to these problems and hope that everyone will soon be able to get over petty things and start creating an actual community here.
      p.s. to anonymous man… I am truly sorry you feel you have been rejected by an ORG to get in a party or feel alienated when you arrived, it is something I have felt. I have also felt alienated and have people repeatedly comment on how I am or am not upholding racial stereotypes. This is something I have had to deal with as well as many other African American men on campus… its gotten so bad some of use don’t feel comfortable going to fraternity and other major events. Is it black privilege having someone scream a racial slurs at you in front of 40 people? Because when it happened to me I was far from honored to call this diverse, inclusive or even home. It happened on this campus at a fraternity. Origins of Necessary Equality ia not black, it is diversity tower with many groups represented… IT ALSO HOST MORE THEN JUST PARTIES SO GET INVOLVED WHEN ITS NOT TO YOUR DIRECT BENEFIT.
      #MyRealBabson

    • Honestly Jenny, a comment like this was bound to happen. I’m pretty sure that more like this will surface. That’s what problematic about this article. It has so many racist undertones to it, that it’s almost ridiculous. Articles, such as this one, creates an environment for people like this “current student” to spread hatred and non inclusion. The petition was created for people like him and for people like the young man who created this article.

      Whether someone is being overtly racist, like this current student, or being unintentionally racist like Bradley, it’s still racist. Maybe you don’t see it, but both students essentially said the same thing. One was just hidden with fancy words…

      • Hi Kayla,

        Thank you for your response, but I don’t think you understood the point Bradley was trying to make in this article. The author mentions his wishes for true diversity at Babson nearly EIGHT times in this article, so to say that he is racist, even unintentionally so is simply just not factual. This article exists to highlight the flaws of the petition that quite frankly seemed to have been a rushed response to Mizzou. To compare an opinion that has been well researched to that of a comment that was written out of hate and intolerance is in my opinion misguided and fallacious. Both students are not saying the same thing and for you to believe that they are means that you have failed to recognize the point of this article.

        All the best,

        Jenny

        • I understood completely what the article said. For the author to assume that if Babson hires more TALENTED, WONDERFUL, and QUALIFIED people of color that it would be “detrimental” to the college is what’s not factual. The petition was not only a response to Mizzou. It represents actual feelings of the minority population at Babson. Feelings that have been felt for years. I don’t think that anything outrageous was asked in the petition. It asks for equality NOW. Not gradually, not later, but now. The article has racist undertones to it, whether you want to see it or not. You’re entitled to your opinion, and I’m entitled to mine. We can agree to disagree on this one.

          • Hi Kayla,

            So I’d just like to point out that the article does not state that it would be detrimental to the college if we hired more professors of color, Bradley even states that, “If a black candidate’s experiences would make them a better professor, I would be thrilled to have them open my mind.”

            To the point made in the petition about hiring practices at Babson, under Title XII of the Civil Rights Acts of 1964, the law states that, “it shall be an unlawful employment practice for an employer –
            (1) to fail or refuse to HIRE or to discharge any individual, or otherwise to discriminate against any individual with respect to his compensation, terms, conditions, or privileges of employment, because of such individual’s race, color, religion, sex, or national origin…”

            I disagree with your sentiment that this article has a racist undertone, but I do believe that you are a reasonable person and wish you nothing but the best.

            Jenny

  3. Exams to study for so will keep it short.

    Some of those demands are quite outrageous. Students are in no way entitled to know the salaries of any staff.

    A requirement that requires to be educated in cross-culturally?
    “We request the institution of a milestone course requirement (i.e., a graduation requirement), similar to the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan, that requires all students to be educated to think and work cross-culturally, living and promoting diversity and inclusion.”

    Is attending Babson not enough? The students, the staff and the faculty make Babson more diverse than a bag of jelly beans with no flavors repeated. If students feel they are not getting enough they can always study abroad, or just talk to the guy behind them in line at Trim. I am pretty damn sure nobody has a clone at Babson (is that possible?).

    “We request a funded commitment to recruit, retain and promote more domestic diverse faculty (Opportunity Hires), specifically those of Black/African-American, and Hispanic-American backgrounds”

    So… this is really about wanting more African-American Professors, and Hispanic-American. This is an interesting demand… American born professors descended from Spanish speaking countries. And, American born professors of African descent. Its great that they want more professors from Spanish speaking countries, because you can’t learn a language without learning about the culture of the people who speak it. Ever wonder why some languages don’t have English word equivalents? (IDEA: DEMAND FOR OUR LANGUAGE COURSES TO COUNT TOWARDS our CVA courses! BEST THING THAT CAN HAPPEN AT BABSON AND MAYBE ITS ATTAINABLE! HECK IT WILL TRULY MAKE BABSON NUMBER 1. IMAGINE, A SCHOOL WHERE EVERY STUDENT SPOKE AT LEAST TWO LANGUAGES BY THE TIME THEY GRADUATED. SO MANY DOORS WILL OPEN)

    “We request the resources to train faculty who are not yet prepared to be involved in such courses to be able to do so, and to allow for team-taught courses that would allow faculty to share approaches and knowledge across disciplines. We also request the resources to create warehouses and databases of texts, cases and other resources to support these courses and the new, diverse curricula.” Um has there really ever been a moment were you think the faculty don’t have any knowledge in this. You think the CEO’s who teach at Babson are going to want to take more time to learn something they experience in their day to day lives?

    “We request a report on the current state (e.g., numbers, positions, time in position, salary) of domestic diversity among Babson’s current faculty and staff to ensure equity.” Salary? BS. No explanation needed. You won’t find what your looking for: n is too small.

    “We request a better, more accessible, and properly marketed Bias Incident Report Protocol in which more visibility is brought to any incidents that may occur, and further that they are properly addressed by the community.” Better how? More accessible how? Is it improperly marketed at the moment? The only thing that needs to be properly marketed is the Diversity and Identity concentration, but then again a lot of concentrations and programs aren’t properly marketed.

  4. I rarely post things, especially when pertaining to contentious issues, because it is not the medium to facilitate important discussions. Without getting into the details of this anonymous man and also the Babson free press piece of content that has been published I first commend both of you for actually speaking your mind, this is something that needs to happen for progress.

    In response to the article, I think this is absurd. There was a thoughtful argument, but it is foolish to provide this argument without even attending the meetings and listening to the calls of the minority groups on this campus. I also hope that in the process of evaluating this petition and our campus we all pay attention to the last point of the petition, which is we need to create a system where students feel comfortable reporting content to administrators. They need to be available to help address problems pertaining to hate speech and discriminatory practices on campus, something I know all to well. I hope the anonymous person and the “Babson Free Press Article” shed a light on the problems at hand in our community and the extreme disconnect. ONE CLARIFICATION IS RACIAL CONFLICT AND HATE SPEECH HAS BEEN REPORTED AND MEMBERS OF ADMINISTRATION FAILED TO DO ANYTHING ABOUT IT.

    I WITNESSED IT AGAINST THE JEWISH STUDENTS AND AFRICAN AMERICANS AND MY GUESS IS MANY MORE… BUT YOU CAN NOT BLAME US FOR TRYING TO WORK WITHIN THE SYSTEM. I thank administrators for now attempting to paying attention to these problems and hope that everyone will soon be able to get over petty things and start creating an actual community here.

    p.s. to anonymous man… I am truly sorry you feel you have been rejected by an ORG to get in a party or feel alienated when you arrived, it is something I have felt. I have also felt alienated and have people repeatedly comment on how I am or am not upholding racial stereotypes. This is something I have had to deal with as well as many other African American men on campus… its gotten so bad some of use don’t feel comfortable going to fraternity and other major events. Is it black privilege having someone scream a racial slurs at you in front of 40 people? Because when it happened to me I was far from honored to call this diverse, inclusive or even home. It happened on this campus at a fraternity. Origins of Necessary Equality ia not black, it is diversity tower with many groups represented… IT ALSO HOST MORE THEN JUST PARTIES SO GET INVOLVED WHEN ITS NOT TO YOUR DIRECT BENEFIT.

    #MyRealBabson

  5. @currentstudent Thank you for sharing your thoughts, I think that opinions like yours will further encourage Babson to invest in more opportunities for all students to engage and discuss race. Clearly, some students are not aware of current issues of race and your response is a perfect example of that, so thank you. I encourage you to sit down with your “many black friends” on this campus and discuss how they feel. I question you to ask them about the experience of being a black student on this campus. It is doubtful that they’d think you were their friend if they heard your views and I think that conversation will change your mind and allow you to see that phrases such as “black privilege” do not exist.

  6. As a co-author of this petition I recognize that there may be some confusion. I would personally like to share my contact information with anyone who wants clarification or have any other thoughts.

    Below is my contact information, please feel free to reach out.

    Khalif M. Heatley
    Babson Undergraduate ’17
    kheatley1@babson.edu

  7. @Leticia you claim that it is laughable when white people try to comment on the issue of racism because we are supposedly not oppressed. However, plenty of white people have been oppressed throughout history. One example being my Irish ancestors being oppressed in Europe during the potato famine. They faced further oppression in the U.S. After fleeing. Another example would be members of the Jewish religion. Were they not oppressed during the holocaust? Additionally, should certain aspects of this petition be put into affect we will be undoubtedly oppressed. The petition requests a funded commitment to hire a more diverse faculty. Should this occur, white people who are more qualified, through merit not the color of their skin, will not be hired solely because of the color of their skin. In this situation whites are clearly the suppressed. This is the same theory as affirmative action which is also racist towards white people. I and white job candidates at babson experienced this oppression when applying to college an we do not need to experience it when applying for jobs. The fact that you claim that white people are not oppressed is laughable.
    On another note, just because I do not actively fight for people of different races to have accommodations that I would be laughed at for asking for because I am white does not mean that I am racist.
    Finally, I do not pay $60,000+ to have time taken out of my classes to learn about diversity. I came to Babson to get a business education not to hear bullshit reasons as to how I am supposedly racist and oppressive.

    • Dear Anonymous,
      I wish you had enough courage of conviction to leave your name. In any case, I will address you directly although you chose to hide behind the cowardice of anonymity. Clearly you need several history lessons. As I have an actual job, I can provide only a few.
      First, diversity is not about black and white or Black vs. White. The world has over 7 Billion people. Most of them are not Black or white. If you think a business education (at a global institution) has nothing to do with diversity, clearly you have missed the mark. Whoever is paying your tuition should get their money back.
      Second, I speak English very well and you do not need to put words in my mouth. Feel free to find me on campus to articulate how oppressed you are as a young Irishman in America. Only a simple mind would equate the Holocaust (12 years, 2 months and 7 days) with the centuries of slavery and genocide.
      Third, I do not have to ask if you are a racist. You PROVED yourself to be one when you ASSUMED a person of color could not be as qualified (or more qualified) than a white person. There is no “supposedly” about that. No one is advocating hiring unqualified people. No one is advocating firing people to hire people of color. There is natural turnover. Do you even know how many professors retire each year? Of course you don’t. (Hint** They are listed at every Commencement.)
      How does equal opportunity and equal representation oppress you? Are you so limited in talent that you are afraid of an equal playing field – which is the reason for Affirmative Action not racism as you profess. Writing something down does not make it true. Have you never taken American History? Segregation, Jim Crow, Brown vs. Board of Education are not just Black History. It is the history of THIS country. White skin does not make a person more qualified any more than being male makes a person more qualified. There is no logical reason a woman should get paid $0.78 to the dollar for doing the same job as a man. When Roger Babson founded our lovely alma mater, he had no desire for women to attend….
      Lastly, I graduated from The Bronx High School of Science before attending Babson. It has graduated 7 Nobel laureates. I didn’t get in because of the color of my skin. I had to test in like everyone else. I spent a few years on their debate team; next time, bring your “A” game.

      P.S.
      My info is in the directory if you would like to take this offline. Even better, please post again with your name. I DARE you. 

      • Leticia,
        Let’s put aside the petition, this article, and the anonymous person you are responding to.

        Here are some historical facts about the Holocaust:
        – 6 million Jewish people were killed during the Holocaust.
        – The Nazis killed roughly 66% of all Jewish people living in Europe during the Holocaust.
        – Roughly 11 million people were killed during the Holocaust. Including homosexuals, Gypsies, Jehovah’s Witnesses and disabled people.

        Racism and slavery in America is certainly a disgrace to humanity but that doesn’t discount the impact the Holocaust had on humankind. A lot of terrible things can happen over centuries and a lot of terrible things can happen in 12 years, 2 months and 7 days. I feel that your undermining the tragedy of the Holocaust makes it difficult for readers to accept any validity in your comments.

        The reality is, all type of minorities face adversity on college campuses and in the real world. Instead of debating about who has faced more hardship, maybe we should all try to find commonalities between these disadvantaged groups and face this issue more objectively and collectively.

        For the purpose of full disclosure: I am half Puerto Rican, half Caucasian, and have a disability.

        • Dear George,

          I do know care if you are 1/3 Muggle, half Wookie, 1/16 elf etc. You are completely missing the point – INCLUSIVENESS. The petition speaks to DIVERSITY of ALL kinds, as did my response. I did not bring up the Holocaust. I was merely responding to Anonymous. Regardless of your race, it is interesting how you chose to rebut my response and not address his.

          Again, it is ludicrous to pit slavery against the Halocaust. The petition addresses a CURRENT situation and I am trying to be part of a CURRENT solution.

          • Leticia,

            I have not stated any personal opinions about this article, the petition, or the anonymous comment. I think you would be pleasantly surprised on where I stand but that is irrelevant to my point above. I commented solely to address your statement undermining the holocaust.

            I wonder how you think people will react when reading, “it is ludicrous to pit slavery against the Halocaust.” You are certainly entitled to your opinion. Yet, that particular statement does not sound like the words of someone, “trying to be a part of the current solution.” Nor does it seem to follow the principals of respecting, “DIVERSITY of ALL kinds.”

            Feel free to respond to my question here or politely email me. I’d be happy to discuss this topic further in a civilized matter.

  8. @ George,

    I stand by my comment that it IS ludicrous to pit slavery against the Holocaust. It is not either or. It is not a competition for the most oppressed. I don’t care who disagrees. That is their right. Both were horrible and neither have anything to do with the issue at hand. Bringing either up at all (which ANONYMOUS did) is just a smokescreen to get people away from the actual issue. The petition addresses the PRESENT situation on campus to better position Babson for a global future. Your issue is not with me; it is with anonymous. Feel free to continue to fall for the propaganda. I know better.

  9. As I read all the comments about this editorial, what struck hard and caused me distinct sadness and frustration is that though everyone has a legitimate POV (connoted as legitimate because it is clearly so to each of them and by that alone, without question), there is an underlying, and maybe not so much, blame-game proliferating that IMO actively chooses to pull rank, dig trenches, and discourage the very conversations that must be had to bridge what are many gaps.

    To get to the place everyone claims they want to be will never succeed without genuineness, transparency, the willingness to consider others experiences and accept them without malice as real, and the ability to point a finger at one’s own self when considering the narrative.

    It is hoped as always be me, that as the world turns and amalgamation of societies, cultures, beliefs, genders, and opinions continue to combine, that at one point closer down the road then further, there will be understanding above all.

    What color we are, where we come from, what we believe and how we add to the world a gift one must choose to give.

    Inflammatory rhetoric, passive-aggressiveness, and simmering resentments keep hate alive.

    There has always been and will always be injustices, some of them so horrific that one can’t help but cringe and be afraid. Being part of the solution instead of part of the problem starts right where each of us stands to help mitigate and deflate as many injustices as is possible in this complicated world.

    Reach out a hand to someone who you don’t understand and don’t agree with, and go have a coffee together. Underneath the posturing, persona, and protectionism each of us projects, is a human like all humans, wanting nothing so much more than a bit of understanding, love, and respect.

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