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In Brief: College Advertisement Has Unintended Double Meaning


Blackhawk Technical College employs a diversity specialist and hosts an annual Diversity Week to help make minority students feel welcome.

But a recent advertisement sent to local homes may have unintentionally undercut its efforts.

The cover of the magazine-style publication featured a photograph of two smiling adults and two children under the following headline: “A Family Affair: BTC is the perfect fit for the White family.”

Most people may have understood the article was about a family named White. But some read it as an assertion the college was particularly good for White people.

Bob Baldwin, a diversity specialist for the Janesville School District, who is Black, said most Black people would have a problem with the wording.

“That’s kind of a natural thing when you’re White, you don’t think about these things,” Baldwin said. “And people need to start thinking about these things beyond their own comfort level you know, what about the other folks?”

But Blackhawk Technical College board member Kevin Leavy, a Black businessman who sits on the Beloit City Council, said he didn’t think anyone intended any harm.

College president Eric Larson said he didn’t think of the double meaning before the advertisement was published. But the college received some complaints afterward, he said.

“Most of them wanted to make us aware of the fact that it could be taken to be a racist comment,” said Len Walker, the college’s director of institutional advancement, who was in charge of the advertisement.

The college changed the headline in a version on its Web site: “BTC is the perfect fit for the James and Casey White family.”


University Opposes Affirmative Action Ban


A proposed ban on schools and other government groups using race, gender and other factors in their hiring and admission decisions is being opposed by the University of Nebraska.

The NU Board of Regents unanimously approved a resolution Friday that says the proposed constitutional amendment could eliminate some measures the university now uses to increase and promote diversity. Those measures include recruitment of students from other countries, trying to attract more minority candidates for faculty positions and events aimed at minority students.

Both university and state government officials have said admissions and hiring decisions are not based solely on race and that they instead try to recruit more minority candidates.

The proposed amendment to the Nebraska Constitution would bar “preferential treatment to any individual or group on the basis of race, sex, color, ethnicity or national origin in the operation of public employment, public education or public contracting.”

Nebraska is one of five states being targeted by the California group Super Tuesday for Equal Rights to pass such legislation. It is backed by Ward Connerly, who has helped squash affirmative action at public institutions, namely colleges and universities, in California, Washington and Michigan over the past decade.

The group must get signatures from 10 percent of Nebraska’s registered voters by July to put the proposed amendment before voters.


UMES Has 1st Accredited Golf Program Among Historically Black Colleges


The University of Maryland, Eastern Shore, has become the first historically Black school to have an accredited golf management program.

The school says its golf program has received accreditation from the PGA. It becomes the 20th school with a PGA-endorsed program and the first in Maryland.

The program is designed to go with business-related majors such as marketing or hospitality administration. Students need four and a half years to finish the program.

Graduates can work as golf instructors or manage golf courses.

–Associated Press

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