Tulane Student Government Approves ‘Equity Fee’ for ‘Marginalized’ Students

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The student government at Tulane University in New Orleans, Louisiana, recently approved an “equity fee” seeking to impose an additional cost of $240 on each student in order to fund a new program aiming to support black and “marginalized” students at the private university.

The resolution to increase school fees by $240 per student — for the purpose of allocating funds toward “black and other marginalized students” — was passed by Tulane’s student government last week with a majority vote of 24 to 6 with one abstention, according to the school’s student newspaper, the Tulane Hullabaloo.

The term, “marginalized” refers to individuals belonging to any identity group in which left-wing activists consider downtrodden or in the United States of America.

“[Anti-Blackness] is the denying of Black people the right to exist,” said Abi Mbaye, who belongs to a coalition of students known as “Les Griots Violets” — which authored the bill the increase student fees at Tulane.

“We are currently sitting on land stolen from indigenous people cultivated by Black people,” added Mbaye. “We have been here 400 years ago, we were here in 1968, we were here in 2015 in the Call for Unity and we are here now. Again. Fighting for the same rights in the same issues. That’s more than racism, that’s anti-Blackness.”

The stated mission of Les Griots Violets is to “organize around the issues at Tulane University concerning Black students with the understanding that when Black people are free, everyone is free,” according to a petition circulated by the coalition, entitled, “Resolution to Establish Equity Fee at Tulane University.”

“We recognize that supporting diverse students is important,” said the school’s executive director of public relations, Mike Strecker. “We will study this resolution and its potential impact on our student body — while we have much, much more work to do, we are seeing progress.”

According to the student newspaper, “the fee would be split among various departments and offices,” with a percentage going toward the following:

  • 24 percent — Closing the Gap Fund
  • 22 percent — Carolyn Barber-Pierre Center for Intercultural Life
  • 21 percent — Equity Endowment Fund
  • 16 percent — Center for Academic Equity
  • 6 percent — Goldman Center for Student Accessibility
  • 4 percent — Office of Gender & Sexual Diversity
  • 3 percent — Chief Diversity Officer budget
  • 3 percent — Office of Multicultural Affairs
  • 1 percent — Medical School Office of Multicultural Affairs

“I think that this legislation is critical because we have so much money in this school, and none of it gets touched by the student organizations that are marginalized here on campus and represent marginalized students,” said senior Juju Worku.

“There are some black women who tirelessly organized and researched and put their hearts into writing a piece of legislation that attempts to rectify the historical wrongs of this university built on the backs of enslaved black people,” the student added.

Not everyone, however, appears pleased with the resolution.

“I already spend A LOT of money sending my child to Tulane,” commented one individual in response to the Tulane Hullabaloo. “Charging me an additional fee that will benefit only non-white students is treading on dangerous ground. My child and I will be reevaluating the decision to attend Tulane.”

Tuition fees at the private university for a freshman resident are already at $58,850 — which does not include the cost for room and board, books, transportation, and other miscellaneous fees, according to Tulane University’s website.

After figuring in the additional costs, a freshman resident’s total estimated fees come to $77,678.

In response to Breitbart News’ request for comment on whether the resolution will be enforced by the school’s administration — and if so, clarification on how the university what students should actually pay the additional fee — a university spokesperson said that “supporting diverse students” is very important to the school.

“Supporting diverse students is a very important priority for Tulane and we intend to carefully consider this proposal by our undergraduate student government leaders,” said the university spokesperson to Breitbart News.

“The resolution will have to be reviewed and deliberated on by the University Senate, Tulane’s senior internal governance body, which consists of elected faculty representatives, senior administrators and student and staff representatives,” added the spokesperson. “The resolution will also have to be reviewed by the Board of Tulane, the university’s external governing body.”

You can follow Alana Mastrangelo on Twitter at @ARmastrangelo, and on Instagram.


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