Black student leaders present recommendations for a more inclusive MIT
Jennifer Chu | MIT News Office | December 9, 2015
Members of MIT’s Black Students’ Union (BSU) and the Black Graduate Student Association (BGSA) believe that at a moment of great national pain around the question of how black and other minority students experience life at universities, MIT has an opportunity and an obligation to take a firm stand in favor of inclusion. Toward that end, they are working together with MIT’s senior administration to find ways to make MIT more welcoming and inclusive for all.
On Dec. 1, student leaders from the BSU and BGSA presented recommendations from each group to MIT’s Academic Council, which consists of the Institute’s senior leadership and is chaired by President L. Rafael Reif.
Both sets of recommendations — one geared toward the undergraduate experience, the other focused on graduate students — aim to cultivate and support a racially diverse MIT community, while also underscoring the importance of ensuring the comfort and sense of well-being of all members of the MIT community.
“MIT has had a long history of specifically addressing racial bias,” says Rasheed Auguste, co-chair of the BSU, chair of the BSU’s political action committee, and a junior in the Department of Nuclear Science and Engineering. “We have made great strides as a university, but now is the time to set the bar for the next 10 years.”
President Reif praised the students for their work and approach. “I am extremely proud of these student leaders, because they have modeled the best of MIT: Confronted with a difficult problem — a systems problem — they are approaching it with thoughtfulness, creativity, and a spirit of collaboration. Their recommendations highlight problems that our community must take seriously. I am hopeful that by working together, we can make MIT as welcoming and inclusive for all members of our community as we aspire for it to be.”