Significant progress made on commitments to Black Student Council last fall

Last September, members of Black Student Council and other students met with Marquette University leaders to discuss specific steps to increase the diversity of the university’s student body, improve the experiences of Black students, foster an inclusive and welcoming environment for all students, further involve the Black Student Council in decision-making at Marquette, and assist Black students in achieving academic success at Marquette.

At the conclusion of the spring 2021 semester, demonstrable progress has been made on several initiatives agreed upon by BSC and senior leaders:

  • The university has developed a Committee for Black Student Initiatives chaired by Dr. Joya Crear, assistant vice president of student affairs.
  • We have expanded our Urban Scholars program to 40 full-tuition, four-year scholarships for high achieving, low income scholars from high schools in the Milwaukee area. Read the news release.
  • We have established a new living-learning community, which will open in fall 2021 for at least 20 students with plans to expand capacity to at least 40 students. Learn more about the Umoja: Black Living Learning Community.
  • Members of the Black Student Council attended several meetings of the Committee on Teaching and participated with faculty in the process of redesigning the English 1001 curriculum to focus on diversity and racial justice. Watch a TV segment on the redesigned course. In addition, the Marquette Core Curriculum revised one of its learning outcomes to ensure more explicit engagement of issues relating to racial injustice.
  • Marquette has created programs to help increase employee training and development on diversity, equity and inclusion, with the intention of instituting required training to raise awareness of bias, harassment and discrimination faced by the university’s diverse populations. Current programs include:
  • President Michael R. Lovell and Provost Kimo Ah Yun released a statement on racism and discrimination at Marquette.
  • Marquette announced the hiring of the university’s first director of Black Student Initiatives, Samira M. Payne. Read more on Marquette Today.
  • In September, Marquette welcomed Shakari (Kari) Lewis, its first counselor and coordinator for African American and Black student support in the Counseling Center. Read more on Marquette Today.
  • A furnished Black student space has been provided in Humphrey Hall, rooms 182 and 184, on an interim basis until a permanent space is established.
  • Marquette has provided ongoing access to data on the number of Black students at Marquette with plans to publish the first annual report of recruitment and retention efforts of Black students in fall 2021. Find the data on the OIRA website.
  • The Black Student Council has met regularly with Marquette University Police Department Chief Edith Hudson and other officers to address and discuss concerns.
  • The Black Student Union was officially formed as a student organization on campus during the spring 2021 semester.

While there remains work ahead, Marquette University is dedicated to creating a more welcoming environment for all students.