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Public Problems on College Campuses
College campuses all across the United States have been a number ofsocial problems since time immemorial. The social problems in thecollege campuses may resemble the problems may resemble thoseaffecting the society in general. The social problems, which areconsidered as public and not private or personal to individualstudents include racism and social stratification based on incomeindifferences. Research has indicated America has been receivingnumerous immigrants from all over the world who come to seek forgreener opportunities in the United States (Brooks 126). As aconsequence, some of these immigrants, mostly from Africa, Asia,Mexico and the Latin America end up as students in various collegecampuses in the United States. It is evident that a majority of theimmigrants are people of color and their income levels are extremelylow as compared to those of their fellow white students. This createsan imbalance of both race and income levels. Students who arenon-Americans have been subjected to mistreatment, ridicule andabuses in a vast majority of American college campuses. The problemof racism and social stratification is a public problem collegecampuses that affects numerous non-white students.
The white American students are said to dividing the college campuspopulations into socially and racially stratified classes based onrace and the presumed social class. As a result, the people of colorsuch as the Africans and the Indians are place way below the ladderand this is huge form of mistreatment and disregard. Researchers haveargued that the problem of racism and social stratification in thesociety is as a reflection of the American society. Historically,immigrants and poor people have been disregarded and mistreated bythe rich, native white Americans. From time immemorial, collegeeducation has been viewed as the main platform which acts as thelargest equalizer of the society (Brooks 98). However, the trend ofracism and social stratification that the American college campusesare taking indicate that the problem of racism is a deep rootedproblem in the American populace that calls for universal effortsfrom all sectors to eliminate.
The number of immigrants into the United States has increasedsignificantly over time. It is estimated that there approximately onemillion people who immigrate into the US every year. Besides thesepeople, there are other over two million people who immigrate intothe US illegally. This has the implication that the Americanpopulation is diverse. There is a notion and a belief amongst theNative Americans that the immigrants deprive them of jobopportunities. This has resulted in a form of animosity between theNative Americans and the immigrants. Furthermore, research hasindicted that the Native Americans are uncomfortable with collegecampus opportunities being awarded to foreigners. In other words, theNative American whites believe that they deserve the education andemployment opportunities as opposed to the immigrants.
A walk around a majority of the college campuses will indicate thatthere are numerous graffiti on walls critiquing and ridiculing theimmigrants and the people of color. These writings are meant todisregard the people of color since the graffiti might compare themto animals such as monkeys. Whereas college campuses are meant tocreate a level ground for all the students to learn, people of colorare subjected to humiliating and dehumanizing learning experiences(Brooks 51). Racism has depicted the American education system as notcaring for the poor immigrants who are mainly the people of color.Immigrant students who are of different races are portrayed a beingout of place while at these campuses due to their race. Campuses havebeen synonymous with anonymous comments about how the students fromdifferent races are dependent on financial aid for their education.This has made a vast majority of the students from immigrant familiesand belong to races such as African, Asian and Latin Americans tofeel out of place while at the college campuses. This has in turncontributed to low and poor performance by such students due to theissue of racism. Cases have been reported where black and Asianstudents are denied the use of some facilities in campuses such aslatrines due to their race (Chesler et al. 115). This has made suchstudents to have an extremely low self-esteem, which leads to poorperformance. As if that is not enough, cases of violence against somestudents due to their race have been reported. The black and theAsian students are associated with theft and crime in the UnitedStates. This culture has been extended to the college campuses whereminority students of different races live in suspense.
When looking at the problem of racism in college campuses, it ishard to point out tone particular institution and blame it for thispredicament. However, there are a number of institutions that carrythe blame for failing to put effective policies and measures in placeto counter this problem. To start with, the government carries thebiggest blame for allowing the social problem of racism to continuein college campuses. It is evident that the government allows thesestudents of varying races to immigrate to the United States andtherefore it has the responsibility of ensuring that their needs arecatered for (Chesler et al. 74). For instance, the government can usethe judicial system to develop affirmative actions that cater for theracially segregated students in the college campuses. Research hasindicated the students who are racially different from the NativeAmericans are few in the college campuses hence the reason they areconsidered a minority and mistreated. Affirmative action would ensurethat numerous students who are considered to be of different racesare admitted to the college campuses.
The administration of the campuses have a huge responsibility ofensuring that the social problem of racism does not manifest itselfin their college campuses. Right from the step of admission, theadmission officers must ensure that they admit students equally andshould offer them equal opportunities regardless of their race orcountry of origin. The administration must also ensure that there areno signs within the campuses that are racially sensitive. This mayinclude writings demeaning the people of color, writings that areracially sensitive and actions such as abuses and violence againstthe minority races (Brooks 66). The administration can be said to becarrying some of the blame for the existence of racism in collegecampuses. Equally, the education system has largely been favoring thenative white Americans, which has led to the problem of racism.Therefore, the education system must be reviewed to ensure that itcaters for the existence and the needs of groups that are likely tobe subjected to racial segregation.
The college students have a huge role to play in the elimination ofthe problem of racism, both in the college campuses and in thesociety as a whole. It is imperative for the students to realize thatcollege education is meant to make them equal and therefore thereshould be no issue of racism at all. The racially segregated studentscan also organize and fully participate in peaceful protests tosensitize the administration and the government on the issue ofracism in their respective campuses.
Brooks, Roy L. Rethinking the American Race Problem. Berkeley:University of California Press, 1990. Print.
Chesler, Mark A, Amanda E. Lewis, and James E. Crowfoot. ChallengingRacism in Higher Education. Lanham, Md: Rowman &Littlefield, 2005. Print.