WKU President Gary Ransdell responds to SGA resolution on reparations

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BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (WBKO)— Western Kentucky University President Gary Ransdell has responded to a recent student government association resolution to support reparations for black students.

The resolution’s purpose was to establish full and free access to WKU for black students, and well as free tuition, and to acknowledge slavery is a “debt that will never be paid.”

Ransdell said in a statement released Thursday:

“Student success is an important ongoing discussion at Western Kentucky University, and the recruitment, persistence and success of underrepresented minority students is a daily focus across this institution.

“We appreciate the Student Government Association’s interest in these issues, but it’s important to clarify that their resolution is not an official position taken by the University. I have read the SGA resolution, and I understand that their intent was to spark a conversation, but the University will not adopt any such policy. I’ve spent much of the last year engaging in dialogue with black student leaders on campus, which has led to a greater understanding and appreciation of their experiences and priorities. Our goal is to ensure that WKU is both a welcoming place and a place that focuses on persistence and success.

“As we continue to work through elements of the campus diversity plan and on our recruitment and student success initiatives, we will focus on those things that help all students succeed. We will direct resources, energy and effort toward those methods that are responsible, practical and proven to achieve student success, with a particular focus on underrepresented minorities, low-income and first generation college students.”

You can read the resolution attached to this story.



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