2015 Archives

SMU students call for campus to address racial issues at ‘blackout’ rally


The following is from the Nov. 16, 2015, edition of The Dallas Morning News.

November 17, 2015

Staff Writer

From WFAA News

About 150 students at Southern Methodist University gathered Monday to show their support for black students at the University of Missouri — and to say that SMU has racial problems of its own.

“Every single year we’ve had insensitive comments or insensitive actions of students who don’t seem to value the existence of other students on this campus,” said D’Marquis Allen, a senior and president of SMU’s Association of Black Students.

Allen and several other students said they gave SMU President R. Gerald Turner a list of demands Monday, including the recruitment of more black students, professors, administrators and trustees. They also asked that SMU “hold students and student organizations accountable for racially insensitive conduct.”

Students created the list after several meetings with black undergraduates, graduate students, athletes and alumni, Allen said.

Campus leaders also need to work to keep black and other minority students at SMU because many drop out, said Jose Manuel Santoyo, a student senator.

“SMU needs to work on that and figure out ways to be more inclusive,” he said.

In a statement Monday night, Turner said he had received the list of demands and looked “forward to reviewing it carefully and continuing discussions with student leaders regarding the requests and perspectives it contains. We are all seeking the same goal — to make SMU as supportive as possible for all students.”

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