A call to greater accountability within the Lasallian community – Letter to the Editor


To the editor:

As we reflect on Black History Month and its year-long observance, I ask the Lasallian community to evaluate its history of oppression before striving to be anti-racist. While taking accountability for the actions of those that have come before you is a heavily debated topic, I believe it is the duty of the administration and other acting bodies to apologize for the role it played in reinforcing racial inequality.  

The acts of racism and implicit bias that killed George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery and countless others have emboldened the calls for justice that have been present for hundreds of years. In our own history, such pleas date back to 1968 with the creation of the Black Student Union, sensitivity training and black history classes. Yet as with all calls for change, they were met with resistance and the Black Student Union was shut down after being labeled as a “threat.” This label was given to the group by a member of the counseling center who advised the University on the Black and LGBTQ+ communities from 1952 to the mid 70’s and was supported by the President at the time. 

In my archival research it was made apparent that almost every Black student group that has been present on campus was shut down, disbanded or suspended for reasons hidden under bureaucratic pretenses. The University viewed the organizing of Black students as a threat, too radical and not inclusive of the student body. Yet the information pamphlets available in our admissions office showcase the Black and Brown bodies that are used to advertise our diversity rate and create a false narrative of representation. 

The lack of action taken by the University to address the needs of the students it advertises has led to the creation of an Instagram page which highlights the experience of Black and POC students at La Salle. This is a common trend in higher education as many students have felt the only safe place to share their stories is through an anonymous submission to these social media pages. This is a reality for students that the University must address by creating a safe space for a Black student group to form or allow the regrouping of the Black Cultural Society. 

Student Government has played a role in the history of oppression of Black and POC students as it often mirrors the opinions and racial makeup of the University. As a predominately white organization with the sole power to speak for the student body it has inherently acted against the needs of Black students. This lack of representation runs rampant across La Salle not only in supporting roles or positions of power, but also in academic opportunities as work has been done to create a Black Studies minor but it has yet to come to fruition. As the Joint Commission of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion prepares to present its recommendations at the end of the year, I implore all departments, clubs and especially the administration to take responsibility for its actions. 


Emily E. Dorr ‘22 


Letters, guest columns and opinion pieces will be considered for publication provided that they meet the editorial standards of The Collegian. All letters must be received by the end of the day Monday to be considered for the current issue. Letters can be submitted via email to abbateb2@lasalle.edu. The Collegian reserves the right to condense or edit submissions. Weekly editorials reflect the views of the editorial staff and are not representative of the university or necessarily the views of the rest of the Collegian’s staff. Columns and cartoons reflect the views of the respective writers and artists.

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