ALBION, Mich. — Albion College students said they are demanding change from the administration after recent racist actions were reported on campus.
Some senior students said there had been a racial incident just about every semester and little changed over their four years to make campus feel more inclusive.
More than 450 Albion College students and staff members marched across campus April 5, 2021, to boycott the injustices they said are happening on campus.
“For the past three years we’ve dealt with the same thing, it’s time for something different,” Domonic McDonald, an Albion College junior, said.
Students said in the past month there had been at least three incidents of racial and derogatory slurs written on walls in the residence halls, along with drawings of swastikas.
“You’re nothing but a coward, you have no room here, you’re not welcomed," McDonald said. “I’ll pray for you. You need to be better.”
Students said they didn't think the college administration was taking these injustices seriously.
“We do this because Albion College has polices that take a stance at anti-racism and if they are not upholding those policies, we would like to make sure they are held accountable,” Jayson Sawyer, a senior, said.
He said if they are not heard, a group of students would file a civil rights discriminatory lawsuit, with the help of some Albion College Board of Trustees members.
Sawyer organized the boycott on campus because he said some students didn't feel safe on campus and were asking for more transparency of how these incidents were handled.
In a statement to News Channel 3, the Albion College administration said they stand against racism, hatred and injustice.
“The racist and anti-semitic actions taken on our campus over the last week are cowardly and will not be tolerated,” Albion College President Mathew Johnson said. “In addition to caring for and protecting the students most directly impacted, and addressing the safety concerns of the broader student body, we are currently investigating who is responsible for racist graffiti on our campus.”
One group on campus, Build Albion Fellows, was focused on bridging the gap between the college and the Albion community, which is predominantly white.
“We feel like they brought us here to meet a quota more than they did because they wanted us here,” Akaiia Ridley, a Build Albion Fellows member, said.
Ridley said she had seen change on campus, but more needed to be done.
“I have so much hope that we won’t be doing this again,” she said.
Johnson said the college was offering a $1,000 reward for any information on who is responsible for the recent racist actions on campus. He said they would be seeking criminal charges against those involved.
“If they are Albion College students, they will also immediately be subject to the student conduct process—including the potential for suspension or expulsion,” Johnson said.
Follow Trisha McCauley on Facebook and Twitter. Send story ideas to email@example.com.