Race and ethnic relations course moving online

photo courtesy of ed yourdon/flickr

photo courtesy of ed yourdon/flickr

Here, student completes work for an online course.

By Rebecca Harrelson, Staff Writer

Published in print Dec 3, 2014.

With the uprising of racial tension happening around the world— protests, rallies and marches in the streets— more communities are joining together to fight racism and inequality.

Many issues of segregation happen in different types of institutions, even in college classrooms.   

Race and ethnic relations (Soc. 327), a sociology course on UNC-Greensboro’s campus, was once offered as a lecture course but is now offered online.

One student, Andrew Byrum, who was previously enrolled in Soc. 327 this past semester, is speaking out about the segregation many institutions are facing.

“The United States currently incarcerates a higher percentage of its black population than South Africa did at the height of apartheid,” Byrum argues.

“I mean…it’s time we stopped simply condemning vile international social policy,” Byrum said, “as a means of trite moral expression, and start realizing our day-to-day role in the tacit perpetuation of our own nation’s knapsack of social ills. And resolutely act.”

High incarcerations of people of color are one surefire form of institutional segregation; others may come in completely different forms.

Another student from the Soc. 327 course who wishes to stay anonymous, spoke on their thoughts of this course switching to an online format.

“This seems to be institutional segregation in a form we’ve never really seen before,” the source said.

“When I came into this course, I had no idea of my own subconscious. I had no desire to look into my own white privilege, nor was I ever set up to speak with blacks, Asians or Hispanics in a safe, mature environment.”

They continued, saying, “Yeah, I have friends of all different colors but when do we ever sit down and talk about the important issues,” the source asked. 

“This class being a lecture class,” they said, “had us all be able to come in and sit next to one another and actually talk.”

However, the source argues, “What truly needs to happen is we need to keep the conversations in the classroom yes, but also take it to the streets, into the lunchrooms, into the groups of friends just hanging out.”

“This class being offered online,” they continued, “no matter how great the professors, will ruin the face-to-face grassroots change we need to see.



Categories: News, Rebecca Harrelson

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