I am writing about the article published in October that discussed the statistics associated with low-income students. I just want to point out that the way it was stated, and the misinterpretation of the information made the article sound incredibly offensive to many people on the Pacific University campus.
One classmate discussed with Dean Phillips about the information that was provided, and the author of the article misrepresented the information to make it sound like low-income students are Pacific University’s problem. If it is stated in a university paper that ANY minority group is represented as a problem, it is considered a microaggression. A microaggression can be an intention or unintentional attack on a minority group. The article was bias, offensive, and some statistics were just plain incorrect.
I do not know if you are aware, but in the psychology department, we discuss the issues with proposing problems about minority groups without offering any reason to why the problems may exist or resolutions to the problem. I think that if the time is going to be spent to state that there is a problem involving a minority group that further research should be conducted to provide an asset model and a full, more accurate picture of what is realistically happening.
Saying that there is a causality between low-income students and Pacific University’s performance is incredibly bias and does not tell the full story. For example, some of the low-income student population are transfer students. Unlike many other universities, Pacific University does not offer a TRIO program for first-generation, low-income, and students with disabilities. Additionally, there are limitations in the resources Pacific University provides. Other populations of low-income students include veterans, first-generation, students who either are immigrants or came from families who are immigrants, etc.
Another example of low-income student drop-out is the lack of supportive resources at Pacific University that is offered at other universities. It does not simply have to do with their parents not being able to pay their education. The problem is not the low-income students, the problem is what Pacific University is doing (and not doing) to hold retention of minority students.
The purpose of this email is to hopefully give insight about the problems with some of the bias articles that are being posted and to help the people at Pacific Index be more aware of how they state something can affect minority groups of Pacific University. Pacific University’s mission statement specifically talks about diversity, it should be represented that diversity is supported, not rejected.