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    HBCUs in Mississippi

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    alexethridge

    Posts : 33
    Join date : 2009-09-03

    HBCUs in Mississippi

    Post  alexethridge on Wed Dec 02, 2009 7:52 pm

    In 1837, the nation’s first historically black college was formed in Pennsylvania with the purpose of educating black Americans, perhaps one of the most difficult missions to accomplish. Now, more than one hundred historically black colleges and universities, or HBCUs, stand as a symbol of an ethnicity’s endeavors to rise above the stereotype of the ignorant African American. However, across the nation in Mississippi, the state government is proposing to merge three HBCUs into one, creating a tense atmosphere in a state already rich with violent civil-rights acts and outrage over lack of funding for HBCUs.
    The reason behind Mississippi’s Governor Barbour’s plan to merge Mississippi’s HBCUs, which include Jackson State University, Mississippi Valley State University, and Alcorn State University, is to save money by “reducing administrative costs and eliminating academic duplication.” Barbour’s plan wouldn’t close any of the colleges, which all are within 100 miles of each other, but instead merge them with JSU. “Restructuring could save $35 million dollars out of a $5.5 billion dollar budget for the fiscal year,” says Barbour.
    Many have voiced their opposition to the merger of the HBCUs. The presidents of the universities have made it clear that they want to retain their independence, and worry about the effects the consolidation will have on the quality of education. Alcorn’s president even mentioned that the merger was not made known to them until recently, and students who attended a College Board meeting to voice their protests found no discussion on the topic. Other students have begun petitioning in protest of the merger, saying that it “undermine[s] the uniqueness of the black colleges and how far [they’ve] come with the little resources [they] have.” The common belief of politicians opposed to the consolidation of the HBCUs is that it’s not fair to treat them differently from other universities by considering them first for budget cuts, and while the merger might save money, it will most definitely detract from the quality of the education students will receive.
    At Arcadia High School, the Black Student Union voices their disagreement with the proposal of the merger. The club’s president, Ashley Ethridge, says, “The quality of education will surely be affected if this goes through, and if they’re going to do it to HBCUs then they need to do it to other colleges. It’s an insult and an outrage.” Mr. Carter Spruill, the club’s advisor, says, “We need to do all that we can to preserve our history, [which includes] HBCUs. If you look at the HBCUs in that state, they have been under funded if anything, which tells you that they have been overlooked all along. Too much money is spent incarcerating people instead of educating people.”
    Affected by the merger is the Obama administration’s plan to have the highest proportion of college graduates in the world by 2020. Because HBCUs enroll many low income students and minorities, this requirement would be met more easily. However, by combining them into one university, the education of African Americans will surely decrease in quality while others’ receive a greater one. John S. Wilson, executive director of the White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities, has said “Would [the merger] result in a great institution? I think that’s unclear.”
    The future of Mississippi’s HBCUs is at the moment unclear, but the proud students of the schools in question are vivaciously fighting to maintain their school’s individuality, and surely will have an effect on the decision of the state’s legislature.

    nancyxiao

    Posts : 170
    Join date : 2009-08-31

    Re: HBCUs in Mississippi

    Post  nancyxiao on Tue Dec 08, 2009 8:04 am

    In 1837, the nation’s first historically black college was formed in Pennsylvania with the purpose of educating black Americans, perhaps one of the most difficult missions to accomplish. Now, more than one hundred historically black colleges and universities, or HBCUs, stand as a symbol of an ethnicity’s endeavors to rise above the stereotype of the ignorant African American. However, across the nation in Mississippi, [Across the nation in Mississippi, however] the state government is proposing to merge three HBCUs into one, creating a tense atmosphere in a state already rich with violent civil-rights acts and outrage over lack of funding for HBCUs.
    The reason behind Mississippi’s [Mississippi] Governor [insert first name] Barbour’s plan to merge Mississippi’s HBCUs, which include Jackson State University, Mississippi Valley State University, and Alcorn State University, is to save money by “reducing administrative costs and eliminating academic duplication.” Barbour’s plan wouldn’t [won't/will not] close any of the colleges, which all are within 100 miles of each other, but instead merge them with JSU. “Restructuring could save $35 million dollars out of a $5.5 billion dollar budget for the fiscal year,” says Barbour.
    Many have voiced their opposition to the merger of the HBCUs. The presidents of the universities have made it clear that they want to retain their independence, and worry about the effects the consolidation will have on the quality of education. Alcorn’s president even mentioned that the merger was not made known to them until recently, and students who attended a College Board meeting to voice their protests found no discussion on the topic. Other students have begun petitioning in protest of the merger, saying that it “undermine[s] the uniqueness of the black colleges and how far [they’ve] come with the little resources [they] have.” The common belief of politicians opposed to the consolidation of the HBCUs is that it’s not fair to treat them differently from other universities by considering them first for budget cuts, and while the merger might save money, it will most definitely detract from the quality of the education students will receive.
    At Arcadia High School [AHS] , the Black Student Union voices their disagreement with the proposal of the merger. The club’s president, Ashley Ethridge, says, “The quality of education will surely be affected if this goes through, and if they’re going to do it to HBCUs [insert comma] then they need to do it to other colleges. It’s an insult and an outrage.” Mr. Carter Spruill, the club’s advisor, says, “We need to do all that we can to preserve our history, [which includes] HBCUs. If you look at the HBCUs in that state, they have been under funded [underfunded] if anything, which tells you that they have been overlooked all along. Too much money is spent incarcerating people instead of educating people.”
    Affected by the merger is the Obama administration’s plan to have the highest proportion of college graduates in the world by 2020. Because HBCUs enroll many low income students and minorities, this requirement would be met more easily. However, by combining them into one university, [By combining them into one university, however,] the education of African Americans will surely decrease in quality while others’ receive a greater one. John S. Wilson, executive director of the White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities, has said[insert comma] “Would [the merger] result in a great institution? I think that’s unclear.”
    The future of Mississippi’s HBCUs is at the moment unclear, but the proud students of the schools in question are vivaciously fighting to maintain their school’s individuality, and surely will [will surely] have an effect on the decision of the state’s legislature.

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