The most immediate cause for students’ anger is an as-yet unpublished study by Duke researchers saying black students match the GPA of whites over time in part because they switch to majors that require less study time and have less stringent grading standards. Opponents of affirmative action are citing the study in a case they want the U.S. Supreme Court to consider.
The statue of Washington Duke on Duke University’s East Campus
A group of about two dozen Duke University students urged administrators Tuesday to create a better climate and provide more financial support for black students, saying they’ve been disappointed so far in how top officials have reacted to their viewpoints.
The students, almost all of whom were black, unsuccessfully sought a meeting with university President Richard Brodhead at his campus office in hopes of explaining a document they describe as a call to action for the prestigious school.
Concerns range from the future location of a black culture center to the lack of support for a black student group’s annual event and a recent study that suggested African-American students switched to less-difficult majors.
“The university has affirmed through media outlets that it has a commitment to meeting the needs of all its students, including black students,” said Nana Asante, a senior psychology major and president of the Black Student Alliance, who led the procession Tuesday. “We have yet to witness any action that reflects this supposed truth.”