Events not reflecting well on Sewanee

https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/education/sewanee-racism-lacrosse-reuben-brigety/2021/03/15/6c0d7b56-8344-11eb-ac37-4383f7709abe_story.html

Hope everyone can read this.

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Awful but not surprising. Good luck to him in trying to change the school values and culture. I’m skeptical. There are many LACs that I would not have considered for my D and that is one of them, as I endured everything the URM students and the vice chancellor endured at another top LAC.

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Thank you for sharing @Gatorrama.

As a parent of a multi-cultural and bi-racial family, I can relate to his experiences and appreciate his position.

Racism exist everywhere. I commend the VC’s efforts to address the situation and improve the environment at the Domain. I fear however that his message, and the publicity that comes with it, will have a negative impact on the diversity of the incoming classes at Sewanee.

I am shocked that he didn’t use the forum to highlight some of the positive (if any) efforts The University of the South is doing to raise race awareness and promote equality. I’m not sure but have they show statistics quantifying an effort to increase diversity (race, religion, sexuality, etc) via admissions? Has the school adopted minority councils for student government and/or athletics? Presenting some efforts would have highlighted broader support among University leadership to change the culture.

Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying he should sit back and stay silent. But it raises serious questions concerning topics beyond race including substance use/abuse and general security.

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Same.

As a minority family, I crossed Sewanee off the list for my children almost as soon as I heard about it. I’m sure it’s just fine for some families, but what I learned about it set off enough red flags for me to strike it off.

I can’t say I’m surprised in the least by that story.

@Necks97 , it would be wonderful to learn of serious, far-reaching efforts by SUotS to increase meaningful diversity and equity on campus. Actually, it wouldn’t be very hard to prove - just a few strong efforts would do it. But it might prove difficult to get their customer base to fully accept it. Sometimes, when universities make a serious effort toward equality, some parents cry foul. Just look at what some parents/students have been saying about Haverford’s administration’s pursuit of equity.

I’ll believe it at Sewanee when I see it.

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I want to add something.

If Sewanee cannot protect the Vice Chancellor and his family from being subjected to repeated hateful, vile, potentially violent racist attacks, why should anyone assume Sewanee would be able to protect URM students?

Racism is obviously a culture that permeates that campus. It’s not going to go away with small measures. The campus culture is not going to change because they release a few press releases.

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I have a lot of respect for VC Brigety , as previously he was the Dean of the Elliott school at GW, and I met him a few times. I hope someone turns these few students in and this issue is addressed.

@sdl0625

My point is that this has been occurring over an extended period of time; and the broader university (i.e. campus security) appears to have done little to address the ongoing issues.

Affordable technology (I.e. security signs and wireless camera-connected spotlights) is available to identify the offenders.

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The horrific incident last weekend - students yelling racial epithets for THREE QUARTERS of a lax game, until the referee forced the students to leave the sidelines - is proof that the school has not worked hard enough to make racism unacceptable. And also proof that instead of being ashamed by the previous actions against the vice chancellor, some students seem to have become emboldened.

How the other attendees on the Sewanee side could countenance it for 45 minutes is utterly beyond me. Nobody spoke out?!

I am truly at a loss.

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If no parents near the Sewanee bench spoke up, the reasonable assumption is the Sewanee parents/fans saw nothing wrong with the comments.

Is there a video? What was specifically being said? What was the response of the coaching staff? Did the UotS take disciplinary action against the athletes after? etc.

For those who got stopped by the firewall and couldn’t read the article, here are some pertinent excerpts.

Interesting read. What I can say is my children have been raised to recognize the value and merits of diversity; whether it be race, economic status, religion or sexuality.

Sewanee can not change their past! Students should recognize, appreciate and learn from history… but seek to drive positive change to make it a truly competitive world-class institution. VC Brigety is an inspiration and a sign of hope for the school. He is a leader looking to do what is in the best interest of the “collective” student body and the institution.

In light of recent developments, it may warrant concerned prospective minority students/parents to consult admissions and the VC before finalizing their decisions. I can confirm that they have and remain VERY responsive to discuss ANY issues/concerns we have raised throughout the admissions process.

Godspeed!

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Thanks for pointing out this article. Here’s another excerpt:

Blockquote
Over the weekend, another incident rocked Sewanee. On Sunday night, Brigety disclosed that a few Sewanee students attending a weekend lacrosse match had shouted the n-word and other racist epithets at a visiting team from Emmanuel College in Georgia. The visiting squad included African American, Asian American, Native American, White and Latino men, Brigety wrote. The Sewanee roster appears to be mostly White.

Blockquote
So pronounced were the shouted slurs in the third quarter that the game officials on the field ordered that Sewanee fans be cleared before play could continue,” Brigety wrote in an email to the campus community. He and the athletic director apologized to the visitors after the match and pledged to investigate. Exactly how many students were implicated in the use of epithets was unknown. Hundreds walked out of class Monday, Brigety said, to demonstrate against racism.[/quote]

This should not happen. However, the fact that there were only a few students yelling these things, yet hundreds walked out to protest against racism, is hopeful.