Students talk inclusivity and racial tensions on DU campus


Photo by Alexis Meacheam

Over 730 people have been killed by United States police officers so far in 2016. Of the 730, 201 have been black men and women, according to an ongoing tracking project done byThe Guardian Among the 201, 36 of these people have been unarmed.

The deaths of unarmed black men and women has caused a loud uproar on either side of the issue throughout the U.S. Racial tensions can be thought to have increased throughout the past few years, with riots, mass shootings, and police brutality becoming more visible. The effects of the wild events can be felt across the nation, even in institutions like the University of Denver, where inclusivity and diversity is claimed to be highly valued.

“I feel like it is really important to have people

from different cultures because you get to learn new things and that’s what I thought college was all about. I was very excited to meet people from different places and different backgrounds,” Sophomore Kyla Peck said. “But when you come to DU, the only background you get most times is very rich, come from very upper middle class backgrounds.”


Photo by Alexis Meacheam Alaina Merin, Sophomore, International Studies Major Nagel Classroom, University of Denver, Oct.2,1013        How do you think the school can be more inclusive and show more of a value for minority groups if you don’t think they already do?        “We have to let inclusivity permeate every part of our college life. “

Kyla Peck is one of the several students ready to walk out from the University of Denver due to several problematic areas within the university.

“It was more the student population I had a problem with because I was really shocked at how ignorant students can be and how in a time where we have so much information at hand, how little you guys actually know about anything that goes on in the world. It was very offensive,” Peck stated.

After deciding to stay at the University of Denver, Peck along with Black Student Alliance, BSA, went to the Undergraduate Student Government, USG, and formed a partnership. On September 30th, USG sent out a newsletter to all the students enrolled at DU to discuss their disheartenment towards the act of defacing a Black Lives Matter message written on the Free Speech Wall by Driscoll Green. Those involved in BSA and USG were not the only ones effected by the actions, however.

“I’ve experienced a bit of racial tension. Like over on Driscoll Wall right now there’s a whole Black Lives Matter mural. When I first saw what happened, I wasn’t sure what was going on, I thought that they had put that up intentionally, but I don’t know, it makes me wonder who did that and what their thinking was,” Sophomore Mitchel Latimer said.

Though the university may attempt to bring in


Photo by Alexis Meacheam  Mitchel Latimer, Sophomore, International                     Studies Major                  Nelson Common Area, University of Denver, Oct.3,                           2016                         Do you think that racial tensions exist at DU?             “You know, I think I’m probably pretty unqualified to talk on that considering I’m in the majority, but I do notice a huge lack of minorities at this school.”

students of diverse backgrounds, it may not seem as though their efforts are working for some students.

“I think they definitely try to make it [the university] diverse, but it’s just not for whatever reason,” Latimer said.

“We want to hold DU accountable because they shove diversity and inclusive excellence down our throats, but you don’t actually live by it. When I was recruited here, they talked about how diverse the school was  and everything, […] but I was shocked to see that that 22 percent diversity was actually nonexistent. It was really disappointing,” Peck said.

For attendants at the University of Denver, racial inequality may or may not seem prevalent in the everyday life on campus. Although it may not be shoved in the face of every student, it could be an issue that is more underlying.

“It is everywhere. It’s in ourselves too, to a certain extent. We just don’t know it and we have to cognizant of it, aware. Being aware of the privilege we have,” Sophomore Alaina Merin said. “You can’t just say, ‘I’m not a racist.’ And then say white privilege isn’t a thing.”


Photo Courtesy Kyla                       Peck                    Kyla Peck, Sophomore, Political Science and Criminology Major, Driscoll Underground, University of Denver, Oct.2, 2016                        In regards to the student population, how do you feel being back here? “This year I just have a new attitude because at the end of the day you can’t change everybody, but I’m going to at least try to educate you.”




One thought on “Students talk inclusivity and racial tensions on DU campus

  1. I enjoy a lot of aspects of this article. Your headline, cover photograph and lead are very strong, and they represent well what you focus on in the piece. I like that the headline includes the phrase “students talk” because that is the main concept that your article achieves–you leave a lot of space to hear the voices of students on a topic that is sweeping DU at the moment. I think you handle a difficult and complex issue very well, stating mostly facts outside of the quotations and staying rather objective. The hyperlinks you added are also effective, as they provide your sources and some contextual information for the most recent cases of black killings and police violence. There are a few AP style issues and formatting issues, especially with your photos and captions, but the article as a whole has a nice flow. You do not use the inverted-pyramid style in your introduction, and I think that is actually a okay thing. The issue is cast broadly on a larger scale and defined down to show immediate effects at DU, and that works very well to communicate the story.


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