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St. Cloud State: Why do so few Black students graduate?

Earthbound Media Group was employed by St. Cloud State University (SCSU). The Lakota Group was hired by City Hall. Both public relations firms are desperately diverting attention from St. Cloud’s reputation as Minnesota’s bastion of racism.

Despite campus and community efforts to hide historic and present racial hostilities, FBI hate crime statistics, hundreds of damning news reports, 22 scathing study findings, Jail Surveys data and millions of dollars won through lawsuits by victims of discrimination, Blacks and other students of color increasingly escape to campuses in more accepting, civilized and safer communities.

A Somali student planning to attend SCSU was beaten and held captive by racists in his newly rented apartment. (“Incident of racial harassment leads to conviction of two St. Cloud residents,” University Chronicle, 2/20/1987)

One survey of racism on 250 campuses in host communities concluded, “The St. Cloud study implicates a hostile community and a campus that is equally hostile. Levels of ethnoviolence reported here exceed those in any campus or community study that we have reviewed.” Beyond more Black residents and students of color, little has changed. (“Campus Ethnoviolence and Policy Options,” National Institute Against Prejudice & Violence, Report 4, March 1990)

News headlines expose a campus and city unable or unwilling to admit, much less confront, racism. (“Molotov cocktail used in attack: Another violent incident spurs students to question safety in St. Cloud and at SCSU,” University Chronicle 11/16/1998; “SASSO/-Somali community organization building firebombed,” St. Cloud Times, 11/17/2002; “Is it safe to send our children to St. Cloud?” Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder, 2/7/2007)

SCSU president Earl Potter admitted, “We know that when people feel a lack of safety, learning is impaired.” “Safety for students of color is a historic concern.” (“SCSU minority student reports ‘Nazi salute,’” Star Tribune, 12/18/07)

Despite condemnations for racism by nine outside investigative groups, no St. Cloud mayor has ever mentioned racism in any State of the City address.

([Aspen] “Institute to study area’s race efforts,” St. Cloud Times, 5/30/2008 5/30/2008; “Feds to investigate complaints from St. Cloud Somali students,” St. Cloud Times, 5/26/2010; “CAIR asks FBI to investigate anti-Somali vandalism,” Minnesota Public Radio, 7/9/2010; “Shining the Light: Revealing choice in the St. Cloud region,” Ohio State University, Kirwan Institute, September 2010)

While SCSU’s total Black enrollment has quadrupled since 2003 (i.e. from 206 to 842), Black graduation hasn’t even doubled.

By concealing cardinal numbers or ratios of Blacks and other students of color graduating compared with their student body totals, high school counselors, parents and prospective students are distracted from knowing SCSU has never graduated more than 4%-6% of total Blacks, Latinos and Native Americans.
The most strictly segregated universities of Alabama, Georgia and Mississippi had far better Black retention and graduation outcomes immediately after forced integration. (“Please publish accurate information on SCSU Black graduation rates,” Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder, 8/29/2012)

“SCSU’s contributions to successful outcomes for Black students go well beyond those reflected in its six-year graduation rates. For example, if you include those who built a foundation at SCSU, transferred, and then went on to graduate elsewhere, then 40% of Black students in SCSU’s 2000 and 2001 entering classes combined have graduated.” (source: “Tracking and improving success among SCSU’s Black undergraduate students,” 2nd edition, July 2010)

When asked about SCSU’s books-cooking described above, Minnesota State Colleges and Universities public relations (PR)director Melinda Voss said, “If you started at St. Cloud State and finish at St. Cloud State, you get counted in this data. But if you started at St. Cloud State but transferred to Mankato, you don’t get counted, even if you completed at Mankato.” (“Achievement gap extends to state’s higher education,” Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder, 11/3/2010)

If those “foundations” supposedly built at SCSU included concern, ethics and safety, the above formula for fraudulently inflating numbers of Black graduates wouldn’t be needed.

A press conference to apologize for racism would be great PR.

Bob Jones University was forced to apologize for racism also.

SCSU’s conniving efforts to: (1) ignore local racism; (2) avoid scrutiny by inflating Black “outcomes” (i.e. counting Blacks who transferred away and graduated “elsewhere” as SCSU grads); and (3) delete/expunge grades on transcripts of students fleeing the Division of General Studies or local racism attracted the FBI and the U.S. Department of Education’s inspector general last May.

MPR reported “237” altered student transcripts were reviewed by the feds. Hiding racism prompted criminality. (“Feds asking about transcript changes at St. Cloud State University,” Minnesota Public Radio, 7/3/2013; “At St. Cloud State, feds investigating reports of secret transcript changes,” Associated Press, 7/4/2013; “Feds looking into grade changes,” Star Tribune, 7/6/2013).


 

 

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