“We demand reparations for the systematic denial of access to high quality educational opportunities in the form of full and free access for all black people (including undocumented, currently and formerly incarcerated people) to Western Kentucky University,” says the resolution written by senators Andrea Ambam and Brian Anderson.
They acknowledged the move was largely symbolic.
“This is something that I think is more importantly about sending a clear message than it is about actually trying to strive for the institution to actually give out free tuition to everybody,” Anderson told the student newspaper.
The resolution also called for WKU to create a special task forceto research test-optional and geographically-weighted admissions.
Some senators disagreed with the resolution, saying that other students would eventually have to foot the bill for offering free tuition. The measure passed 19-10.
In a statement, WKU President Gary Ransdell said Thursday that he appreciated the student government’s interest in the issue, but rejected the idea.
“I have read the SGA resolution, and I understand that their intent was to spark a conversation, but the university will not adopt any such policy,” Ransdell said. “I’ve spent much of the last year engaging in dialogue with black student leaders on campus, which has led to a greater understanding and appreciation of their experiences and priorities.”