Fight Back! News

News and Views from the People's Struggle

Florida State students demand an increase in African American enrollment

By Zachary Schultz

Tallahassee students fight for increase African American enrollment

Tallahassee, FL – 20 students gathered at Florida State University (FSU) Nov. 5 to begin their campaign to increase African American enrollment. According to the FSU Office of Institutional Research, African American students made up 6.9% of the freshmen class in 2014, a drop of 46% since 1999 when Governor Jeb Bush signed an executive order ending affirmative action programs in Florida.

“What we need is to end racist policies and testing and demand affirmative action for Black students,” said Regina Joseph, a member of Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) who addressed the students.

Students stood in front of the Integration Statue, a monument built to commemorate the struggle waged by students against segregation that led to the first African American students being admitted to FSU in 1962. Student held signs reading “End racist testing” and “Reinstate affirmative action.”

Chants of “Hey, hey, ho, ho, discrimination has got to go,” and “Black education matters!” rang out across the plaza. Organizers distributed pamphlets detailing their demands: end legacy preferences, no more standardized testing requirements, and overturn the 1999 ban on affirmative action.

“It is important that we raise awareness to larger systematically oppressive forces because they are so difficult to tackle by any one organization or individual. The more people we have educated on the issue and the more noise we make, the sooner we can expect to see the changes that we come out and organize for” said Jabari Wheatley, Chair of the FSU NAACP Political Action Committee.

#TallahasseeFL #SDS #AfricanAmerican #BlackStudentMovement #BlackEducationMatters