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Old 04-16-2004, 05:41 AM   #1 (permalink)
Overreactor
 
Location: South Ca'lina
Deaths at black colleges - colleges at fault?

The Article

Deaths of HBCU Students Point to Troubling Trend, Experts Say
Date: Friday, April 16, 2004
By: C. JEMAL HORTON, BlackAmericaWeb.com

On Thursday, Virginia State University held an on-campus memorial service for Jose Andujar, a student who was shot in the head and killed early this week in nearby Richmond.

Two days earlier, a promising Hampton University senior, Christopher B. Weaver, was buried after he was gunned down in his off-campus apartment.

Two services in two days for two dead students from historically black colleges isn’t a coincidence, some experts say; the recent services are emblematic of an epidemic taking place on and around historically black college campuses across the country.

Over the past six months alone, there have been at least four known murders of black-college students, all of them off campus.

The killings have brought to the forefront the years-long discussion about college students interacting with “townies,” a term used for local residents who are not students.

Robert E. Millette, who has conducted extensive research on life at historically black colleges and universities, said the recent rash of killings is evidence that more dialogue is needed between HBCUs and local residents.

“The university, at one time, was a sanctuary for black-college students — but things have really changed,” Millette, a professor of sociology at Lincoln (Pa.) University, told BlackAmericaWeb.com.

“That freedom and safety people used to have when they were on a college campus doesn’t quite exist anymore. We have gangs on campus now. And you have people in the local community that are into some bad things. Drugs, guns and physical altercations come into play on campuses now. When it all comes together, sometimes, it can be very unfortunate,” Millette said.

Besides the tragic deaths of Andujar and Weaver, other murders of black-college students have gained attention:

A year ago, Morgan State’s Rashed Tolliver, just a month from graduation, was shot and killed in a Baltimore nightclub. In October of last year, Hampton junior Michael Kennedy Jr., of Washington, D.C., was shot at his off-campus apartment, in that same month, Morgan State senior, Lorenzo Hardy III, two months shy of a December graduation, was shot and killed at a Baltimore bowling alley.

The murders haven’t been limited to off-campus sites. In January of 2001, a Benedict (S.C.) College freshman, Philip Lee Jr., was gunned down after leaving the campus chapel. A month earlier, a South Carolina State student, Corey Baker, was shot in the chest in his dorm room.

In the cases of Tolliver and Hardy, one alleged shooter was a former student and the other was a current student. The father of Hardy’s accused murderer, fellow student Christopher Bacote, works at Morgan State in the Student Counseling Center.

Hardy’s 27-year-old sister, Tamika Hardy, said that her family had moved out of inner-city Philadelphia into the suburb of Germantown to decrease her 23-year-old brother’s chances of dying of a violent crime.

“We didn’t send him to school to come back home in a bag,” Tamika Hardy said. “Young black men aren’t supposed to die when they’re in college trying to better themselves. It’s just not supposed to happen. My brother was a good, charming guy who only wanted to help people. He didn’t deserve this.”

Tamika Hardy, who is starting a program to help young black men become entrepreneurs, said she has become aware of the other murders that have taken place on HBCU campuses — and there is a serious problem.

“I can say that I don’t hear about murders happening at Drexel or the University of Pennsylvania or LaSalle,” she said. “I just know that if I had a child, it would not go to a black college. You just don’t know what’s going to happen.”

Although four killings have gotten media attention over the past six months, it is hard to get a true indication of the actual numbers. The responsibility of reporting such statistics typically rests with the individual institutions. And many black colleges are reluctant to release what they consider negative information.

According to The Chronicle of Higher Education, a weekly publication that used to track college crimes, Morgan State reported two murders in 1998. It is not clear whether those murders occurred off campus.

“But Morgan State doesn’t even talk about those (other two) murders,” said Hardy, who claims no school official contacted her family until four days after her brother’s death. “Morgan has done a good job of covering this kind of stuff up.

“You just get angry about it. These schools were created to give kids an advantage. I just think the schools are scared that, if they don’t keep these things quiet, they’ll get a lot of negative publicity. But, in the end, who gets hurt by that? The students.”

Dialogue is the key, according to Millette. He said the colleges must help the students do a better job of selecting better influences — on or off campus — and that colleges must reach out to the local communities.

“What most (black) colleges and universities must do is deal with this,” Millette said. “For so long, we have been turning our backs and pretending these kinds of things aren’t happening. Well, it is happening. And it’s happening too much.

“What we have to do is make the university a safer place. We’ve got to have counseling sessions. We’ve got to interact with these young men. We’ve got to give them role models. Otherwise, they just wind up a statistic, like so many other young black men. We can’t keep having funerals.”
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Once again, it's not the kids' faults for getting into gangs, owning guns, or going places they shouldn't. No, it's the colleges' fault for not "helping the students select better influences."

I went to college for an EDUCATION - not to learn how to pick friends. I did that between ages 10 and 18. Why can't Millette and his supporters see that the solution just might lie in the personal choices of the individual?? Why does a college have to take on the responsibility of giving its students role models? Colleges are not babysitters. If you're in college, it's time to grow up.
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Old 04-16-2004, 06:09 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Location: Wilson, NC
I agree. The thought of killing someone is just crazy though. You have to be seriously immature to even think about killing someone. I don't think it lies within psychological issues or anything like that (unless the person is just scotch tape crazy). people think they can kill someone because they are angry. they think they are the only people who have this kind of hatred for someone. well, they aren't. they should grow the fuck up and deal with it.
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Old 04-16-2004, 06:48 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I don't think bowling alleys and chapels are places where places people shouldn't be.
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