Kentucky College Students Pass Resolution On Reparations For Black Students
Western Kentucky University (WKU)’s Student Government Association recently passed a resolution supporting reparations for black students.
Passed on April 18 the resolution, which was passed by a margin of 19-10, requests that the university “call for a special task force be established by the University to assess the feasibility of test-optional admissions and geographically-weighted admissions,” as well as support “Reparations for the Systemic Denial of Access to High Quality Educational Opportunities in the form of Full and Free Access for All Black People (Including Undocumented, Currently and Formerly Incarcerated People).”
SGA Senators Andrea Ambam and Brian Anderson wrote the resolution, with the two students inspired by a similar resolution endorsed by students at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Ambam and Anderson’s resolution references research highlighting the ways standardized tests not only “restricts the college opportunities for needy students,” but “perpetuate and uphold white supremacy.”
On April 20, WKU President Gary Ransdell issued a response to the resolution, stating:
“We appreciate the Student Government Association’s interest in these issues, but it’s important to clarify that their resolution is not an official position taken by the University. I have read the SGA resolution, and I understand that their intent was to spark a conversation, but the University will not adopt any such policy. I’ve spent much of the last year engaging in dialogue with black student leaders on campus, which has led to a greater understanding and appreciation of their experiences and priorities. Our goal is to ensure that WKU is both a welcoming place and a place that focuses on persistence and success.”
In related news, Georgetown University, in acknowledging its own ties to America’s past with slavery, announced that it would be offering preferential admission rights to the descendants of slaves who worked on Georgetown. However, it is unknown if the school will implement a plan to offer scholarships or financial aid to those descendants at some point in the future.