FSU professors demand VP of 'Anti-Racism'

FSU professors recently wrote a letter to the school’s black students detailing certain recommendations that the group made to the university, in the name of combating racism.

The recommendations from the professors included targeted recruitment of black students specifically.

Professors at Florida State University are responding to current tensions by demanding a new slew of administrative actions, including the creation of paid positions for “anti-racist” activists.

In response to George Floyd’s death and the ensuing riots, 33 black staff members at FSU wrote a letter to the university’s black students. 

The professors offered a list of recommendations that FSU can take to “deconstruct the present system and to begin to rebuild an academic space that is rooted in anti-racist ideology.”

Despite FSU President John Thrasher’s statements in light of the recent events, the professors say there is nothing that “any campus administrator can write that will make a meaningful dent in deconstructing the system of white supremacy that is threaded through the fabric of our country.” The faculty members add that they understand “the racial battle fatigue” students are experiencing with “toll institutional and structural racism.”

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The professors are recommending that the university implement “a paid Anti-Racism Task force composed of students, staff, faculty, administrators, and individuals from the community.” This task force would help “build space and create a structure” to add the position of Vice President for Anti-Racism in the university’s cabinet. 

The professors recommend that the university recognize the necessity of “naming and calling out racism and its entangled nature with the injustices of sexism, homophobia, transphobia, and ableism,” and insist that neglecting to do so renders them “complicit.’

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Faculty members also request that the university “strongly recommend” that freshman take a reading and discussion course “rooted in social and racial justice,” and that FSU take initiative to develop a partnership with community organizations devoted to “fighting racism, prejudice, injustice, and bigotry.” 

The group is also calling on each individual college within the university to “craft a diversity and inclusion statement” and create strategies “for increased recruitment, retention, and mentoring for Black students, staff, and faculty.” 

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