The Student News Site of University of Louisiana Monroe

The Hawkeye

The Student News Site of University of Louisiana Monroe

The Hawkeye

The Student News Site of University of Louisiana Monroe

The Hawkeye

ULM marks Black History Month with panel discussion

Sipping T.E.A. with the VP collaborated with ULM’s chapter of the NAACP to host a panel discussion called “Examining Struggles from the Minority P.O.V.” The panel focused on magnifying minorities by discussing issues students of color face on campus.

The panel consisted of four guests of different ethnical and racial backgrounds: African American, Pakistani and Caribbean. Each guest discussed belonging at ULM and how different their culture was compared to back home.

ULM graduate student Nasiya Ramirez grew up in the Caribbean before leaving to attend ULM. As a panelist, she spoke about how it’s important to have these discussions at college, so more students feel included in their home away from home.

“It’s important to bridge the gaps on campus with our staff, and people have a lot of complaints,” Ramirez said. “People don’t talk about it, but in places like this, students do talk about it.”

Senior psychology major and NAACP President Lanaya Bolden along with senior criminal justice major Jzaziyah Cooper mediated the conversations and asked the panel questions that students wanted to hear.

Eric Burton, the senior North Louisiana development recruiter, received applause for his answer about how he changed his mind set after feeling like he did not belong at ULM.

“I do not have to bring a seat into the room — the seat is waiting for me,” Burton said.

Burton also talked about the creation of the Cultural Diversity Council. He mentioned how he felt back in 2020 when racial division was high. ULM released multiple vague statements to the press that didn’t explicitly support the BLM movement.

“It’s Black people today, but it could be another race tomorrow,” Burton said.

Graduate student and panelist Sajid Ali discussed the divide between international students and American students. He explains American and international students do not hang around with each other a lot. Ali admitted to not knowing why and assumed that the reason is because Americans fear of international students and the international students feel somewhat inferior. The main thing is having a conversation about it.

Valerie Fields, Vice President of Student Affairs, spoke about students having a voice on campus. Students need to start voicing their opinions and speaking up to help better our experience at the university.

“Your voice is much louder than mine, because there is a lot more of you than there are of me,” Fields said.

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