In the past few months, there’s been significant acclaim for Southern University for being able to reach a population of over 7,000 students this fall semester. This is not much of a surprise , considering recent years have shown a drastic growth for HBCUs all across the nation.
This culture shift in the normalization of historically black colleges and universities is most definitely something to be championed, considering the ground up nature of many of these places of education.
HBCUs have become the face of a progressive future, with many recognizing the significance that a historically Black environment holds for developing youth. Celebrities from all different spheres have praised HBCUs including Beyoncé, Snoop Dogg and even people such as Oprah Winfrey. With the growth of these institutions, we must also consider how this is to show us how to accommodate the students that they are bringing into them.
With HBCUs being institutions that were often built from the ground up by children of slaves or slaves themselves, there was always the possibility of this lack of resources coming to affect the students later on.
Many students here at Southern University have been forced to move off campus or into unstable living conditions due to the overflow of new students this fall semester. It is great to have upward mobility in the number of students at Southern, but it’s even better to be able to actually help them. However, one issue has not been acknowledged: Southern has never had the same resources as its neighboring institutions.
Being the sole Black school system in the U.S., Southern has been subjected to not only being overlooked, but often disrespected in many conversations on higher education. Which can be compared to being the sole black students in a class of whiteness, no matter how hard you may try often your success will never be treated with the respect it deserves.
So while it may be easy to simply point the finger at the institution and ask for more and more, we may also be willing to understand what position we are in. Without compromise there is no growth, without growth there is no future, without the future there is no purpose. So, as students of Southern University, we must make it our purpose to motivate our institution, not attack it. Any aspect you feel can use growth, get involved in it. Never bring an issue without a solution.