Race Issues within Campus Housing

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Wittenberg University is seen on Sept. 6, 2020 during a COVID-19 Outbreak in the third week of in-person classes. Wittenberg had a 21 confirmed cases of COVID-19, a 2000% increase since Aug. 31 where the university claimed to have one active case.

A liberal arts college in the state of Ohio claims to strive for diversity within in its community and doesn’t tolerate when its faculty, students or staff are treated differently based on their race, age, sexual orientation, religion or class status. 

Part of Wittenberg University’s diversity, equity, and inclusion from President Frandsen’s council reads “…a diverse and inclusive campus enhances the living, learning, and working environment for every member of our community” [1].  Out of all the three years of living in Wittenberg’s on campus housing, I heard that this statement doesn’t reflect. Some rumors have showed that the Office of Residence Life doesn’t treat their Residential Advisors (RAs) with equality. However, this rumor has ben claimed to be false due to an interview that I had with the Dean of Students Casey Gill and the Associate Director of Residence Life Sherri Sadowski.

When I interviewed Gill, she touched on what she would do if two RAs were caught smoking illicit drug and the process it initials.

“If two RAs are reported in behavior that  is in violation [of] the [school’s] code of conduct, they would get processed through our conduct system the same as any student would, because they are still full time Wittenberg students obligated to up hold the code,” Gill said.

With the rumor that two RAs of different races were caught smoking illicit drugs, it would again be proven to be inaccurate. There needs to be proof that both of the RAs were caught smoking the drugs and they need to have the right to be heard.  Then, during the process, just like any other student who is employed at Witt, the hearing board looks at to see if they violated their contract through their employer. If they did they could face either suspension or termination depending on how severe it is.

“It depends on the complexity of the  situation,” Sadowski said.  

So in your mind, you may see the situation that didn’t happen as an act of racism, but in reality, it didn’t happen.  So, I leave you with this: don’t listen to what you want to here, but find the facts before you make an assumption. 

[1] Diversity & Inclusion. Statement on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion | Wittenberg University. https://www.wittenberg.edu/student-life/diversity/statement-diversity-equity-and-inclusion.

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