Thriving or Surviving: A Discussion on Black Student Success in PWIs

Black students in predominantly white institutions are, often, discussed in literature as objects of struggle amongst their white counterparts. Their experiences are reduced to micro-aggressions, theories of assimilation, and conflict avoidance, just to name a few. While all of these elements play a role in the minority experience within a PWI, they should not be the only lenses through which black students’ narratives are analyzed. Many black students within predominantly white institutions are excelling on their campuses; whether it is the captain of a team, a research assistant, resident advisor, or the coordinator of a volunteer group, these students are … Read more

Just an Average Model Minority

The model minority emphasizes that Asian Americans are more academically successful than other racial groups. This is dependent on their hard work and individual effort (Atkin et al., 2018). We tend to see Asians being good at math and science, over all excelling academically. Due to the racial discrimination associated with Asian/Asian American, those who identify as Asian/Asian America are much more susceptible to negative health outcomes such as depression, anxiety, substance abuse, etc (Narra & Li, 2018). It is important to analyze the way Asian Americans interpret the model minority myth and the academic setting they are in. Those … Read more

President William Compares Blacks and Jews (Oy Vey)

In 2015, racist posts were made targeting black students on several campuses, including ours, on the anonymous app Yik-Yak. The Huffington Post wrote an article shortly after asking 3 Presidents of private liberal arts colleges to speak about what they’ve learned from recent student activism around race. President John Williams was one of those three Presidents. President Williams represents the Muhlenberg campus in everything he does, something that inherently comes with the title of “President.” This power and representation may be the only things many may see about Muhlenberg, therefore, the small statements he may make here and there come … Read more

Resiliency in the Face of Racism

Spending four years at a college or university can widen one’s perspective, challenge previous beliefs and opinions, and provide opportunities that help them succeed. However, this does not happen through academics alone. Specifically, for students of color at Predominantly White Institutions (PWIs) from lower SES backgrounds, these four years can be particularly challenging because, while maintaining good grades and showing up for classes, they inevitably face social and/or financial pressures that could deeply affect their academic performance; and they must learn to deal with these pressures quickly. These obstacles include microaggressions (from random students and close friends), struggles with paying … Read more

black and queer, and here – even if they don’t always see us

One of my favorite topics that we’ve covered in this course thus far is the creation of counter-spaces. I am intrigued by this concept because I have created these spaces for myself at Muhlenberg without knowing that it had a name attached to it. What is more, it intrigued me to know that counter-spaces are something students of color across the country are constantly creating for themselves. I think my interest lies in the naming of these spaces, as well as, the perception of these spaces by students in the majority body (i.e. white students). But, in learning the language … Read more

Hidden Labour: The Role of Faculty of Color at PWI’s

Representation Matters, even on college campuses! Students of color (SOC) often seek solace within the four walls of their professor’s (of color) offices. Those spaces quickly become safe spaces for these students, as they feel confident in the fact that their feelings will be heard, understood and respected by members of staff who can personally relate to their experiences. While in one of these safe spaces provided by a Faculty of Color (FOC) on Muhlenberg’s Campus, I brought up this topic and learned that the importance of SOC and FOC relationships is recognized by Faculty of Color, sometimes leading to … Read more