Our View

Last year it was Walter Lain, assistant dean for multicultural and international affairs, who scheduled February’s Black History Month events. This year he left it up to students, specifically the Multicultural Student Alliance and International Student Organization. According to Lain, 12 events were held last year to celebrate the contributions of African Americans in our culture. This year, a mere four events are scheduled.

Lain said that along with the increase in Simpson’s enrollment this fall, there was a notable increase in the number of minority students on campus.

According to Registrar John Bolen, six new students enrolled in the fall of 2004 identify themselves as African American. Currently, there are 13 full-time African-American students on campus. Lain said we should also acknowledge the addition of six multi-racial students. Lain believes this is the greatest number of African-American students Simpson has enrolled since the 1970s.

Despite the fact that more African-American students have enrolled at Simpson this year than in the recent past, the number of Black History Month events scheduled does not match the increase. This year, there are only four events – and one is a Forum event. Of the six Forums scheduled for the month of February, only one deals with black history.

Simpson’s on-going effort to make diversity on campus more celebratory should be reflected with an increase in the number of Black History Month events, rather than a decrease.