University of Michigan administrators boost efforts to improve racial climate on campus

Jan 20, 2014

Administrators at the University of Michigan are “doubling down” on efforts to improve race relations at the university’s Ann Arbor campus.

Minority enrollment is down at the university: In 2008, black students made up about 6.8% of the university’s freshman class. In 2012, that number dropped to 4.6%.

A recent Twitter campaign caught the attention of administrators, as students took to the Web to express their frustrations with race relations on campus. The #BBUM campaign – Being Black at Michigan – went viral, with more than 10,000 tweets using the hashtag in November.

As MLive’s Kellie Woodhouse reported, the university is now launching a campus-wide effort to increase enrollment of underrepresented students and improve the campus climate.

One plan in the works is to renovate the Trotter Multicultural Center, a hub dedicated to providing a safe working environment for students on campus.

“Students, faculty and staff have told us that the Trotter Multicultural Center needs a fundamental rethinking and ideally should be moved closer to the central campus,” University Provost Martha Pollack wrote in campuswide email.

According to some students, the center’s current off-campus location makes it hard to use the resources available.

“You’re kind of alone when you’re walking down there at night,” said Steve Lin, a sophomore at the university. “It’s kind of scary to walk down there.”

- Melanie Kruvelis, Michigan Radio Newsroom