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Opinion

Letter to the Editor: Hundreds sign a petition to end racism at Drake

Editors Note: We originally planned to publish this letter in our March 29 issue. Because of confusion during a rushed deadline, it was unintentionally omitted. We apologize for the over sight.

The letter and its petition, signed by more than 500 supporters, call attention to incidents on campus that have made fellow students feel unwelcome because of racial hostility toward members of the Drake community.

The Times-Delphic offers to serve as a forum for ongoing discussion of this issue. We encourage all members of the Drake community to submit letters or commentary to foster continued conversation. We will print as many submissions and letters as space provides in our paper.

Please submit letters or commentary to tdeditorinchief@gmail.com. We ask that you limit pieces to 250 words. Deadlines for submissions are Tuesdays at noon for Thursday issues and Fridays at noon for Monday issues. In order to be published, letters much be accompanied with a name and contact information. If you have questions, please refer to the “Letters and Submission Policy” at the bottom of page 3.

To sign the petition visit: www.ipetitions.com/petition/letter-to-the-times-delphic-regarding-racist/

Dear Editor:

We are writing to make you aware of a recent event that occurred on Drake’s campus in the hope that you will share our outrage at this incident and will use the forum of The Times-Delphic to encourage intentional dialogue about perceptions of race and racism on our campus.

On a Saturday night in early March, six Drake students and an Iowa State student were walking along the Painted Street, returning to their various residences. As they passed Jewett Hall, a woman shouted from a third-floor window, “You dropped something back there.” As one student went to pick up the item he had dropped, the woman shouted again, “And get off our campus. We don’t want you on our campus. We don’t like…” The remainder of her comments were drowned out by the response of the students, who had begun yelling back. The woman in Jewett shut her window, and a few moments later, a first-year Drake student, who had attended a Drake event with the group earlier, arrived with her father and brother. The family had witnessed the group’s reaction to the woman’s comments, and after listening to an explanation of the incident, the father encouraged the students to ignore the woman’s comments, and the students then continued their walk home.

Although no direct references were made regarding the race of the students walking on the Painted Street, all of these students and their family members are black, and the woman who shouted at them is white. The students felt that the comments carried with them an assumption that they could not be Drake students and that black people do not belong on Drake’s campus. They felt that a group of white students would never have received those comments, and they reported that this is only one of many racially charged incidents they have experienced while at Drake.

We recognize that this is not an isolated incident, but part of a broader campus culture that pretends that racism no longer exists. This event surely demonstrates that we can no longer ignore the presence of racism on our campus and that members of the Drake community need to engage in more direct, cross-cultural dialogue.

Part of the Drake mission is to provide an exceptional learning environment and to prepare students for responsible global citizenship. We cannot claim to have an exceptional learning environment unless we welcome and support all students; we cannot claim to engage in responsible global citizenship unless we are actively promoting intercultural interaction and understanding.

With these aspects of the mission in mind, we urge you to use The Times-Delphic as a place to begin and to continue these necessary conversations. We hope you will join us in working to create a campus culture in which all members of our community are welcome.

Sincerely,

Jennifer Perrine and William Hatchet

Jennifer Perrine

Assistant Professor of English

(515) 271-4161

jennifer.perrine@drake.edu

William Hatchet

New Student Academic Facilitator

(515) 271-2029

william.hatchet@drake.edu

Joined  by:

Melisa Klimaszewski

Kirk Martin

Lisa A. Gardner

Linda Krypel

K.J. Dobbins

Beth Younger

Ralph Siddall

Arthur Sanders

Megan Brown

Joyce Sharp

Sarah Elliott

Thomas Root

Renee Ann Cramer

Audra Saunders

Claudia Thornton Frazer

Ellie Jorgensen

Amy O’Shaughnessy

Lisa Hokomoto

Amanda Krafft

Sunrita Sen

Rachel Boon

Kylynn Mowell

Aaron Harpold

James Saul

Michael Rieck

Matt Andrews

Jody Swilky

Christia Olson

Sarah Hogan

Matt Pruett

Natasha Hedeker

Jonterri Gadson

Eduardo Tamez Zamarripa

Jenny Najduch

Mikaela Jorgensen

Helen Harvey

Alicia Pena

Shelley Fairbairn

Ken-Matt Martin

Alexis J. Davis

Jessica Savage

David Skidmore

Matt Garite

Brandon Courtney

Amy Letter

Tiara Winston

Carrie Lewis

Karla Kash

Mandi McReynolds

David Maxwell

Sue Wright

Tony Tyler

Tom Delahunt

Bailey Schlegel

Laura Martin

Wanda Everage

Alyssa Burnett

Ashton Weis

Lori Blachford

Shiv Morjaria

Charles C Edwards

Allan Vestal

Deneen Rae Dygert

Rahul Parsa

Natalie Ross Adkins

Danette Kenne

Suzanne Clayton

Doug Hillman

Eunice Merideth

Katie Bell

Gretchen Beckley

Gabriell Butler

Tom Swartwood

Radostina Purvanova

Jimmy Senteza

Patrick Heaston

Janet McMahill

Darcie Vandegrift

Amelia Piecuch

Pramod B. Mahajan

Daniela Fassbender

Joseph Lenz

Inchul Suh

William Boal

Tanaya Thomas

Jennifer Harvey

Cate O’Donnell

Amy Vaughan

Matthew C. Mitchell

Carlyn Marron

Davee Matlock

Molly Bassford

Kathleen Richardson

Todd Evans

Shari Tenney

Dorothy Pisarski

Raylene Rospond

Ronda L. Menke

Lauren Horsch

Kevin Saunders

Nick Evans

Jennifer McCrickerd

Nicole O’Connor

Glenn McKnight

Mary Reilly-Hoefling

Debra S. Bishop

Samantha Kenison

Breanna Hess

Leah Kalmanson

Bao Dao

Sandra Patton-Imani

Erica Hartschen

Yasmina Madden

Nancy Berns

Bill Jensen

Blake Campbell

Christen Bain

Paul Secord

Marc W. Davis

Jordan Payne

Cathy Beck-Cross

Benjamin Gardner

Donna Woodard

Rhea Ann Frost-Clewell

Kristi Longtin

Rick Long

Cory Kelly

Carl Olsen

Ailey Hunter

Emily Olson

Xiaoyi Shan

Chrystal Stanley

Laurie Dore

Jessica Mattes

Kay Kelly

Kelsey Japs

Charles Nelson

Ross Courtright

Eric Liu

Ginelle Schmidt

Wendy Batchelder

Rick Fox

Tricia McKinney

Jim Laurenzo

Kathleen Tunink

Mackenzie Kramer

Katie Cope

Lois Santi

Chris Barfels

Ben El-Baroudi

Jean Carmalt

Jennifer Newton

Robin Sautter

Christine Marchand

Theresa A. Graziano

Jennifer Lang Newton

Jackie Robinson

Emily Bowman

Eric Ferring

Deeb Paul Kitchen

Donna Knight-Donovan

Susan Benz Schaeuble

Laura Eaton

Randi Lines

Moren Blazevic

J. Royce Fichtner

Liz Tesar

Shelley Hurst

Jan Wise

Johanna Sprang

Carrie Dunham-LaGree

Chris Ditter

Jill Brimeyer

James Ruden

Mahmoud Hamad

Emily Boyd

Nicole Westenberger

Karen Hermann

Matt Nelson

Leah Christensen

Jessica Shalita

Azra Beganovic

Kathryn Recca

Chinh Dao

Gary Johnson

Sara Kollauf

Huy Nguyen

Luke Nankivell

Karmon Long

Sally Frank

David Golder

Emily Weaver

Andrew Rupiper

Laurie Heron

Jerrid Kruse

Christina Cherayil

Carlyn Crowe

Linda Krypel

Harsh Mota

Kevin Moenkhaus

Caleb Schmotter

Sean Deberry

Ethan Garrigan

Lukas Olynyk

Mindy Davis

John Graham

Dawn Devine

Sarah J. Pritchard

Shelby Klose

Patrick Carroll

Madison Dockter

Ellie Ehrhardt

Hilary Hamilton

Brianna Shawhan

Colton Davis

Heidi Sleister

Lisa Jaffe

Leah Bromaghim

Salena Brickey

Emily Madsen

Sydney Schermer

Julie Thomas

Dana Hansen

Nathaniel Repay

Sonya Collier

Morgan Jolliffe

Alex Brooks

Tammy Harmon

Madeline Lumley

Danielle Hefferan

Erin Austin

A.L. Goldberg

Ben Jaskowiak

Seejo Valacheril

Austin R Forte

Dina Smith

Michael Haedicke

Jennifer Heartley

Jerry Anderson

Laurie J. Linhart

Courtney Howell

Kendra Knoloch

Mara Deaton

Leah Carlson

Rose Acland

Kaila Wechsler

Sarah Birkholz

Tasha Pinkley

Timothy D Knepper

Alicia Tinsley

Sarah Hohbein

Carolyn Hill

Amelia Eckles

Echo Snedigar

Michael Spoerl

Matt Van Hoeck

Jan Walker

Sean Conard

Brad Palmer

Melanie Carlson

Carla McCrea

Linda Anderzhon

Vladislav Frederick

Brett Wright

Marc Cadd

Amy Munemoto

Melissa Sturm-Smith

Jack Fellers

Michelle Bottenberg

Anne Feldman

Alan Kay

Ekta Haria

Harold Dudley

Adam Wood

Debora Christensen

Joan Faber McAlister

Susan Ladd

Meghan Price

Steven F. Faux

Eric Sloss

Reynold Lim

Kendra Ward

Carley Stieg

Joshua Poindexter

Trey Morse

Wendy Diekema

Lara Henderson

Michael Rodriguez

Sarah Bannon

Virginia Corbett

Hannah Moses

Alexandria Caskey

Haitham Aly

Colin Lawter

Jana Mai Matthes

Daryle Sivels

Amanda Wollert

Nancy Reincke

Michael Draheim

Lauren Perucco

Eric Jordan

Grady Reuler

Marissa Fernholz

Reed Fry

Brittany Bailey

Carol Bodensteiner

Carly M. DeVries

Gary Scott

Nick Kruger

Russell Lovell

Gabriela Castorena-Shaikh

Joseph Barb

Jackie Klein

Donald F. Davidson

Ariel Kinlow

Edward Bell

Jessica Berger

Adam Lutz

Jessica Avant

Lauren A Phillips

Laura Hansen

Evy Tews

Cara Pratt

Nazia Ashraful

Rory Steward

Jocelyn Pearce

Hannah Borge

Lauren Gagich

Jess Walther

Chris Fairbank

Amber Funkhouser

Amy Guan

Tricia Atterberg

Emily Gadient

Eric Hall

Samantha Brenner

Alysa Mozak

John Selin

Karen Conlon

Brittnye McSparron

Rachel Bachman

Jared McCarty

Drew Harkins

Michelle Polyakov

John Rozycki

Leslie Mamoorian

Kathy Fejes

Allie Quinn

Blake Martin

Kristen Neumeister

Erin Swierczek

Clare Cullen

Jarad Bernstein

Elyse Webb

Toral Soni

Felecia Pittman

Julie Purscell

Christophe Sabourin

Kimberly Lucke

Tiffany Williams

Jan Kellogg

Jacqueline Ye

Joseph Walker

Jana Peterson

Kameron Middlebrooks

Carlos Velastegui

Amy Knudsen

Ashley M Crow

Jayne Smith

Natasha Kaiser-Brown

Stephanie Vanchipurakal

Sheila Govoni

Young Eun Oh

Terry Thorpe

Amina Kader

Katie Elder

Steph Wiederin

Umesh Veerasingam

Catherine Moede

Tom Rossley

Laura Litwin

Jeffrey M. Janssen

Amy Woodside

Nikola Pavelic

Brian Johansen

Erin Mercurio

Nanci Ross

David Remund

Patricia Thornton

Randell Phillips

Mihir Gajjar

Courtney Cahill

Ellen Calder

Eleanor Zeff

Danyelle Cole

Kristin Stein

Mary Edrington

Whoopi Tenneh Massaquoi

Erin Gabriel

Bruce Carr

Jennifer Wells

Wil Sylvince

Briana Isom-Brummer

Deborah Newsom

Jeff Nelson

Stella Yi

Austin Cooke

Courtney Coleman

Deirdre Lane

Jalisa Tate

Hilary Kirsch

Jane Lee

Nicole Germann

Dakota Seaver

Danielle Case

Judith L Allen

Yusuf A Quereshi

Renae Chesnut

Alexis Rose

Chelsey Teachout

Debra DeLaet

Martin Roth

Brad Crowell

Stacey Lundquist

Holly Worthy

Ian Wells

Ryan Curtis

Melissa Simmermaker

Beth Blackman

Michelle Laughlin

Chuck Phillips

Jared Freese

Terri Smith

Karen Leroux

Dan Hostager

Chad Stephens

Jeff Karnicky

Elizabeth Ryan

Tess Montgomery

Ema Stille

Gabriell Butler

Freddie Fulton

Amanda Laurent

Dana Sloter

Vusi Mathebula

Michael Noble

Morgan Reid

Ankita Dhussa

Qichao Huang

Garrett Fardon

David Smith

Tasha Stiger

Sumit Sen

Natalie Nordlund

Neal Patel

Matt Van Hoeck

Kadambari Prasad

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Lillian Schrock

Austin Arnold

Bailey Eginoire

Earl Hall

Elena Clark

Rose Davila-Gay

Melvin Thomas

Karen Wallace

Allison Heifner

Mariel Fulton

Kevin Henderson

Katie Gross

Nick Oestreich

Michelle Williams

Matthew Jurysta

Anthony Thomas

Kelsey Johnson

Emily James

Cameron Johnson

Kianna Martinez

Melanie Castro

Jeffrey Foreman

Justin Welch

Michael Mahon

Ishaan Arora

Shaun James

Nehwoen Luogon

Sarah Yeager

Elsa Becker

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Andrea Nelson

Lauren Reed

Steven Jordan

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Matt Everhart

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Tom Gaskill

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1 Comment

  1. Anonymous April 2, 2012

    There is a lot of important information left out in the “….” part of the story. I’m not adequately prepared to conclude this was a racist act just like it may not be appropriate to conclude it was. There is important evidence left out of the story.

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