When you do something wrong, admit it. If you’re sorry, act like it. There seems to be a discrepancy here so to clarify, here’s a dose of realism: If you mess up and apologize, only to turn around and gloat over your mistake, your apology is void. In fact, don’t even bother.

Racial tension has long been present at Miami, but recently it’s gained intensity, resulting in division and frustration across our campus. Diverse students don’t feel welcome due to other students’ behavior, and something needs to be done. Anyone making derogatory and offensive remarks should be punished, and our administration needs to verbalize its concerns more clearly and directly.

The psychology department sent out an email on Monday, April 9, that read: “We, faculty and staff of the psychology department, denounce racism in any form, and we echo President Crawford’s statement: We stand against hate, against intolerance, and against bigotry of any kind. We support our African American and Black students and we support efforts to address the recent and ongoing racist incidents on and off campus.”

When the administration addresses everybody instead of the problem-causer, it only creates feelings of resentment and division amongst those who weren’t involved.

This approach reminds me of elementary school. I remember nearly every week, a few kids would yell and throw food in the lunchroom and the entire room was punished. It never worked, and even as an eight-year-old, I knew why.

We’re in college now, yet it feels like a replay of elementary school lunchtime. Students throw offensive terms around on social media, but there are no repercussions. Instead, vague school-wide emails from the administration and various departments are dispersed and no concrete changes are made.

It’s the responsibility of our administration to facilitate feelings of safety and inclusion to each and every student on campus. Their silence worries me. Feelings of entitlement and invincibility become rampant when leaders choose to look the other way.

Our federal government often adopts an apathetic attitude regarding social and political issues but Miami, we cannot.

During Make It Miami last Friday, signs proclaiming our school a “white supremacist institution” hung in Armstrong. Generalizations like this will not endear diverse students to join the Miami community, and only stir anger among those who disagree.

I also have to ask, if some students are voicing frustration due to being classified, why are they turning around and classifying others into a single category?  I, among many others, take great offense to being told I attend a “white supremacist institution.”

There are certainly members of our student body exhibiting careless and disrespectful behavior.  But though my opinion may be jaded as I’ve only been at Miami since last fall, I don’t believe the majority of students share the same ideals as the kid who posted racist comments on GroupMe last semester (and then proceeded to brag about them on Tinder a few weeks ago).

An ironic instance occurred when my friend rode the bus Uptown this weekend. An intoxicated fellow passenger was having difficulty swiping her card, and resorted to swearing to express her frustration. The bus driver immediately told the girl to watch her mouth because her words might make other people uncomfortable. I can’t help wondering why our administration isn’t mirroring the same stance about social issues.

I ask the administration to stop lecturing the entire student problem and go directly to the source. Don’t put all of us into one category. The vast majority of us both display and take great pride in Love and Honor. It’s disappointing and unfortunate to watch the behavior of some effect the whole university. We’re lucky to have students from diverse backgrounds, and there’s no excuse for the language tainting our campus. Treat people with the respect they deserve.

For those who find themselves incapable of doing so, perhaps a nice chat with our university president will encourage them to change their mind.

dattilec@miamioh.edu

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