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Since Wednesday, students have occupied part of humanities college at Seattle University, demanding shifts in curriculum and reation of dean alleged to have used slur to refer to book title. A sit-in at Seattle University took an unusual turn last week when a student made an allegation to explain why the protest movement was insisting on the firing of a dean: a black student charged that the dean had used the slur "nigger" several times during a discussion they had last year.
The charge has appeared in several s of a tense meeting between the students and the Seattle professor seeks a female student Stephen Sundborg, president of the university, who urged the students to abandon their demand for the reation of Jodi Kelly, dean of the university's Matteo Ricci College, which offers degrees in the humanities. Several s state that the word was used by Kelly not to refer to the student or any individual, but to describe the book Niggerthe autobiography of Dick Gregory, the civil rights activist and biographer.
On Gregory's own website, he describes what he told his mother about the title of the book: that whenever she heard the name of his work, "you'll know they're advertising my book. Kelly has become a major focus on the protest, with students putting up s and creating a Twitter feed with the hashtag DearDeanKelly which has tweets both in support of the movement and highly critical of it.
The Strangera Seattle newspaper, ed Kelly, who wasn't at the meeting where the student made the accusation, and she responded via that she remembered discussing the Gregory autobiography with a student last year. While Kelly declined an interview with Inside Higher Edshe forwarded those s. I am not in the habit of repeating titles, and certainly not that one, but I did refer her to that book," said a first from Kelly.
The Stranger reporter sent a follow-up asking if Kelly had used the title out loud, and she responded: "The student asked for more diversified reading. I complied and pulled the book from my shelf. The title, as you know, could startle, so I relayed the story of Dick Gregory explaining to his maternal ancestors why he titled it that way ….
I am not in the habit of ever using that word …. I believe it demeans us all.
The student who recounted the conversation told the crowd that Kelly told her that black people could reclaim the slur, as Gregory did. The student, who has not been identified by name, said that after the conversation with the dean, she did not go to class. It is not her place to tell me not to be offended. This woman needs to be removed. I'm worried about the students that come after me," the student said. In anKelly said that she offered the book after hearing the student talk about how ignorant and offensive comments from peers were hurtful.
The curriculum has been a major source of frustration to those holding the sit-in. The college in question is focused on the humanities, and features many courses focused on the classics of Western civilization, while also offering education and leadership instruction for those seeking to apply humanities study to education and leadership positions.
A petition outlining the student demands says the curriculum needs to change so that it "decentralizes whiteness and has a critical focus on the evolution of systems of oppression such as racism, capitalism, colonialism, etc. Further, the petition says that the humanities college's new curriculum should be one that "radically reinterprets what it means to educate teachers and leaders for a just and humane world by centering dialogue about racism, gentrification, sexism, colonialism, imperialism, global white supremacy and other ethical questions about systems of power, setting a standard for students before doing service, learning or studying in other communities or countries.
The university has issued two written responses to the protests since the sit-in-started, both of them expressing willingness to consider changes in the curriculum. The statements said that the Matteo Ricci College would "conduct a comprehensive review" of the curriculum with a deadline of this December for a report.
The committee would be made up of faculty members, students, alumni and a consultant, the statements said. The statements also pledged that an outside consultant would review culture at the college. On Saturday, Father Sundborg sent an to the campus in which he said that he had been moved by the students' expressions about being in a minority at Seattle. It is the foundation upon which we will be able to engage in thoughtful and constructive dialogue, make progress and arrive at good solutions," he said.
He also sent a separate to everyone at the university about "several deeply appalling incidents that have come to our Seattle professor seeks a female student over the past 24 hours. Each incident involved phone calls to the university from individuals who directed vitriolic hate speech" toward the students who are protesting. There simply is no excuse or place for such behavior," he said. As the debate has grown in the days since the sit-in started, some have defended the humanities program and its curriculum.
One of the blogs hosted by The Stranger published an analysis by a graduate of the program, Maria Martinwho described herself as a minority woman who works with disadvantaged students. Europe, in general, especially when talking about the classics, is predominately white males," Martin wrote. If a vast majority of students have a problem with reading the classical literature of Plato, Socrates and others, perhaps they should consider a different major altogether.
Personally, I found the curriculum vital to my understanding of most of the other classes in which I enrolled at Seattle University. We have retired comments and introduced Letters to the Editor. Share your thoughts ». Expand comments Hide comments. Advertise About Contact Subscribe. Coronavirus Live Updates - July 9, Topics Diversity. Teaching and Learning. By Scott Jaschik.
May 16, Student protest at Seattle U. Further, she wrote, the curriculum is valuable and not a secret to those enrolling. by Scott Jaschik. Subscribe for free today. Inside Higher Ed Careers Hiring? Post A Job Today! You may also be interested in Ithaca College President Res. Wells College Off Probation.Seattle professor seeks a female student
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