EDITORIAL: Eastern’s racial demographic increases

Editorial Board

We at the Daily Eastern News are happy to see Eastern’s demographics change to a more diverse student body.

In a small, mostly white town like Charleston, it’s easy to see why students of color wouldn’t want to go here.

Especially if those students grew up in a more diverse area, it could be nerve wracking to come to an area like this.

So many stories about racism- whether exaggerated or completely true- go around when people talk about the central and southern parts of Illinois.

Still, students seem to be finding something at Eastern that makes them feel safe enough to come here.

Whether it is word of mouth from other students, direct interactions with faculty or something in the university’s marketing, we’re happy to see that people of color feel welcome and supported enough to come here.

Historically, academia in America has been mostly white.

We all know why- segregation and racism have been at the core of many of our country’s institutions in greater levels than most are willing to admit.

This has made it difficult for people of color to get into higher education, because the challenges of being a first-generation student are only compounded by the effects of racism on those individuals.

Just the fact that so many people of color are able to attend Eastern is a heartwarming sign of growth amidst all the problems we see every day.
Let’s not pretend that we’ve solved racism, though- not even on our campus.

The Douglas Hall renaming issue that has dragged on for so long is proof of how slowly things change here.

Students of color still report feeling unsafe on campus or around Charleston and have concerns taking problems to the police as reports of police brutality come to light across the country.

We at the Daily Eastern News hope that everyone in our school and town will continue to fight to make things better.