Hamel: Take a stand against racism on campus


Makayla Tendall/Iowa State Daily

Columnist Peyton Hamel argues for change following several reports of racism on college campuses, including Iowa State’s. Hamel calls for Iowa State students to stand up to racism to improve the quality of students’ lives.

Peyton Hamel

Editor’s note: This article previously stated that Student Government hosted the Students Against Racism summit on Oct.30. This is incorrect as they just attended the summit. The Daily regrets this error.

As of Monday, Iowa State University students were banned from using chalk due to continual racist slander scrawled all over the sidewalks on campus. A prohibition such as this has never before occurred in the history of our beloved university.

The fight for complete equality continues into nearly the second decade of the 21st century. Racist slander and physical and verbal micro-aggressions are not isolated to the confines of Iowa State University. There is still a hostile climate for minority and underrepresented students on campuses nationwide.

Racism on campus has become a nationwide, fatal plague, damaging the integrity, esteem and opportunity of underrepresented students, especially those of color.

Underrepresented students are already fighting a battle of equality alone, yet racist slander and crime keep adding to the struggles they have to face on a day-to-day basis.

Here are a few examples of the most derogatory incidents in 2019:

Four white students at Colorado State in blackface

Black doll hung from shower rod at Eastern Michigan University

Toilet paper noose hung on a dormitory door at Michigan State

Race-related arson at University of La Verne in California

These incidents range from disrespecting heritage to hate crimes.

As of this year, our campus has endured hate crimes from chalkings and in a specific residence hall geared toward the Latinx community. Bean house in Geoffrey Hall has become the pinnacle of racism as of this year on campus.

The current community advisor of Bean house is a part of the Latinx community. Unknown students of the house manipulated the name and changed it to the racial slur “Beaner,” which targets the Latinx community.

Campus is supposed to be a safe place for all students, yet acts such as these torment our campus and are escalating. Due to both the defamatory chalkings and the incident at Geoffrey Hall, there was a Students Against Racism summit organized by Dozmen Lee, Javier Miranda, Brad Wiesenmayer, Alexa Rodriguez and Kyle McCarron Oct. 30 to “protest the recent bigoted events happening on our campus” and “stand against white supremacy at Iowa State University.”

On Nov. 8, President Wendy Wintersteen sent out a campus-wide email notifying the student body of university action concerning these matters.

These escalating events may be the beginning, but let us not allow it to escalate any further. Racism on campus is unacceptable. We are better than this.

Higher education is supposed to foster a healthy, mentally-stimulating environment for the purpose of bettering personal and public education.

Do not allow us to retrogress in our status of achieving quality.

If you want to change the regression of achieving quality, utilize the Green Dot program. Support underrepresented students. Spread active awareness of racism on campus. Be an advocate for your classmates.

Iowa State students: we are better than this. Do not let the chalkings and Geoffrey Residence Hall incident be the beginning of a long tunnel of protests and bitter living.

Our generation should be doing better to improve the quality of life for all students on campus. Despite policies put in place to limit racism and slander, it is ultimately up to the student body to change the behavior and social hierarchy on campus. Students, we must rise to make change. No more.