The East Carolinian have a section titled “Pirate Rants” in their Opinion section, where students can anonymously comment on whatever they please online to have published the upcoming issue of the paper.
Today, on February 24th, 2015, there have been Pirate Rants on the renaming of the Aycock dorm. Click these following links for more information: http://www.witn.com/home/headlines/CHANCELOR–Aycock-name-should-be-removed-from-ECU-dorm-292096921.html#.VOdoKUDIitI.facebook http://media2.newsobserver.com/content/media/2010/5/3/ghostsof1898.pdf http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/06/19/duke-aycock-hall_n_5511580.html
The majority of the rants made me uncomfortable. Not because they were opposed to renaming, but because there was ignorance regarding the Black Student Union, the Board of Trustees, and why there were people for the renaming of the dorm.
These are my responses to some of the rants. This is not to make anyone angry, this only to bring light to the current situation on my campus.
“I am still confused on how the White Student Union Rant caused so much sh** but the BSU [Black Student Union] can push for something that renames a pirates home and people celebrate.”
The White Student Union Rant last semester was because East Carolina University is a predominantly white university. Because White people are the majority, that is why it was offensive. Maybe the person who wrote that rant did feel underrepresented as a White individual, and I am sorry if he or she felt that way. However, a White student is granted more opportunities at ECU and in other places in this country more than people of color. For example, when minority organizations ask for funding from SGA (Student Government Association), the first thing SGA asks is whether or not they have asked for funding from the Ledonia Wright Cultural Center. Majority organizations are not asked this question. Although affirmative action has been in effect for quite a while, a White person is still more likely to get a job than a person of color. The majority of the staff, the Board of Trustees, and even SGA are White. Although it is growing, there is still not enough representation for minorities on our campus, and other places off campus. The Black Student Union, other minority organizations, and members of the majority regardless of which organization they are in, have been standing up for the renaming because it is a step in moving forward. It is a step for minorities to feel welcome in their dorms and throughout the college campus.
“Is it possible for students of other races to join the BSU? If not I don’t think they should be allowed on campus.”
Yes! Of course students of other races can join the BSU! Students of other races can join the Student Association for Latino Spanish Affairs (SALSA)! Straight students can be a part of the GLBTSU (Gay Lesbian Bisexual Transgender Student Union), hearing students can join Silent Pirates, the list goes on and on! In my experience, I am not speaking on behalf of all students of color, cultural organizations have been more accepting of other people, including White students. That is because there is excitement in getting to know people who want to truly get to know you after experiences of rejection and being ignored. In my experience in majority organizations, I felt the need to change my way of thinking and change my mannerisms in order to be accepted, in order to avoid being a token, if you will. I have a tendency to be aware of whether or not certain mannerisms of mine are “too black” or “not black enough” regardless of who I am with, whereas most people of Caucasian descent do not have to worry about their mannerisms or their color until they are in a room where they are the minority.
“I’m proud of ECU’s history, so I erased the uncomfortable parts–Everyone who was for the renaming of Aycock.” “The Board of Trustees have no backbone.”
The Board of Trustees made an effective compromise on behalf of all ECU students. They did not just make the decision to rename the dorm, they also made the decision to represent Aycock and his contributions inside Heritage Hall, along with other contributors of the school. They do have backbone, and no one is erasing parts of history here.
I hope my statements have been taken into account. Thank you for taking the time to read them.