Updated: May 7, 2020
What is your name, year and major?
Amy Boatang, I am a senior marketing major, with a management minor.
Why did you come to UMass Dartmouth?
Because all the offers I got this school had the lowest financial aid my freshman year.
Do you consider the faculty of UMass Dartmouth to be diverse?
No not at all.
Do you consider the student body to be diverse?
How do you think the university treats/ views its students of color?
I feel like the university tries to use us to make money where it can be beneficial, any chance that they get to show diversity, they’ll lean on the Unity House to use the space or whatever. But when it comes to bigger issues like the lacking of the funding, or the student orgs or atleast the multicultural student orgs, I feel like there's money missing from it. There's money missing from it and I wanna know why. I feel like, were just not paid attention to as much as our white counterparts.
Can you talk to me about when you enter a predominantly white space?
For me personally I am really confident in myself and the color of my skin, in fact I love the color of my skin, so when I walk into a predominantly white area I’m not intimidated, it's just more like what positions do these people hold? So it's like, let's say if our chancellor was white, I feel like the power he has over my education intimidates me, not the color of his skin, more of like the issues to come up if something were to go wrong is what I am afraid of.
But I think the only negative encounters I've had with the university is when it comes to student orgs, and the lack of representation, like you guys wanna pop up when it's an issue. With SAIL for example, if you have a question for an event and you try to go to them prior they really won't help you, they'll try to do their best and then they'll say it's an SGA issue go see SGA, as soon as something went wrong it's like, sail was in their DM'S talking about have a meeting. Okay but why isn't SGA taking care of me if it was an issue with them beforehand? They are essentially sending us back to the people making the problem.
Have you ever utilized the counseling center on campus? How was it?
I haven’t used the counseling center on campus because I know there is no diversity or from what I hear from my friends that there's no people of color there. I heard a person from the LGBTQ community working there but I still haven't gone and seen it for myself but I know it would be really beneficial for people of color. Or at least knowing there's a person of color in there because I don't wanna open up to a white person about my issues because we don't have the same issues, as understanding as you can be, you never really understand first hand. I can sit there and you can relate to my issues but you don't really get it, compared to a person of color. It would be more comfortable with a person of color.
Have you ever attended events put on by multicultural orgs and what do these things mean to you?
I have attended events put on by multicultural orgs, I try to go to the Aids Benefit every year, even just like the parties and stuff CSA will put on parties, I haven't been to
Cape Verdean night because it always conflicts with my schedule but, knowing that the under represented do have a voice, is what I kinda see from these events, so majority of the schools white but knowing that people of color are like, we’re small but mighty type of thing. So it's like we may not have the majority but we can still put on great events. You guys could feel comfortable coming out too so.
I'm grateful for the fact that they are here because my younger sister goes to UMass Boston and they don’t have anything, they don't have most of the organizations that we have here like the African Student Association or the Cape Verdean Association, then we have different groups we can relate to. Its really nice.
Has the school cut funding to these orgs? Do you feel like the school is supporting or validating these events?
Definitely don't feel supported by the school. Have they cut funds? I personally feel like they do. I have been told otherwise, but I’ve also been told other things by these same people telling me so its like you’ve lied to me and you think your gonna tell me the truth and i'm gonna believe you? No, i'm gonna take it for a lie. And do we feel supported? No. I don't want your support now because I know its not genuine.
For me personally I feel like there's nothing that they can do to make it seem like they actually wanna be there. All I really want from the school is money to support our funds and our events because they don't do anything for us anyways so they minus well help us out, help us boost your diversity by giving us money that we need to hold these events, that would bring more people of color onto campus. And retain them at that, so many people have left because of the lack of events that we used to do on campus, and it's just going to continue to dwindle, as they continue to cut funds for the multicultural orgs.
How do you feel about white students on campus and what do you wish they would do differently?
I don't have any feeling towards the white people on campus, for me personally I haven't been wronged by a white person on campus. I've had a few of my white friends I have met on campus that are super genuine to me like I've met my friend Abby through orientation, love her to death, Emma who is a part of SGA. I don't have any issues with the white people on campus, I don't think there's anything I want them to do either. I think it's like you're living your life and I'm living my life. I feel like coming to events like House of Deliberations would be very beneficial, because when they would host events that are more controversial like I think it was my sophomore they hosted an event that said “ white people need to stop doing black hair styles'' or something like that, and like the amount of backlash talking about these people need to be expelled from campus, ripping down the posters just being ignorant.
How about you come and discuss, that's the whole purpose, having twitter fingers for what? Cause your gonna rip down the posters, okay and? Like what is that gonna do what is that really accomplishing? Stop being ignorant. If you feel attacked by the House of Deliberations, or you feel riled up, that could be a few things, one either you are triggered by it because it applies to you, two it applies to you so the shoe fits, three come and talk about it you know? Because you're being ignorant, you need to stop and come voice your opinion. Cause you're sitting down there with your twitter fingers and ripping up posters, it's not gonna change the fact that we're still gonna have our meetings. It's not gonna change the fact that you're ignorant and you aren't willing to learn about other people's views, so get with the program. Were a new century fuck the fact that its 2020, were a new century,
get it together.
What should I focus on to be most impactful and how can the school improve?
I think as a white person what you can do to be more impactful is just kinda coming out to events like HOD, white people in general need to be aware of their privilege and use it for good. So it's almost like be a superhero, but also don't be a savior. Kinda like, help where you can help out if you can, rather than oh lemme help you with that, I don't need your help. Kinda read the situations and ask if you can help out because being a bystander isn't going to help anything, situations can get worse, be more aware is all I ask.
Intentions matter, this is nothing against Angelina Jolie but I remember on twitter I think it was last year or two years ago, people were talking about the fact she goes to 3rd world countries for the benefit of herself. Like no she recognized the situation and wanted to help out, so i think its super personal where your views are but be clear with your intentions.