By Judy Nelson
Student groups have always been the breeding grounds for social activists who participate in local and global change. Since 2013, Black lives matter (BLM) and other movements in orbit have influenced our society through their awareness campaigns and responses to all forms of injustice. Across the United States, BLM activism is most noticeable on student campuses, where young academics come in contact with this movement’s ideas and plans for the future of the country.
We researched and came up with some interesting insights into the impact of BLM on Florida universities.
Changes in the college admission process
High school students who participate in social activism are not always free to discuss their involvement in protests and other events they participated in while in high school.
Additionally, a Florida Gulf Coast University sociology professor published a study to show that admissions officers at his university avoid accepting students who have participated in the BLM movement or face penalties during student demonstrations. While most students only need to revise their admission letters, those who have participated in anti-gun or anti-racism protests should be careful about the content of their submissions, otherwise they will be refused l ‘education.
Although the study focused on black students, recently more and more white students have joined the ranks of the BLM, putting even more applicants at risk of rejection. Numerous published test samples by EduZaurus hold the testimony of university students on racial, social or religious discrimination by university staff across the United States. However, since the publication of the study in 2018, things have changed and the BLM movement has grown into a strong public force. Many higher education institutions have revoked their practice of denying admission to students who have participated in social activism and have been disciplined for their involvement. In addition, some universities have even decided to cut all ties with their past and even remove statues of Confederate soldiers from their campuses.
Student organizations born out of support for the BLM movement
In 2020, the murder of George Floyd sparked a nationwide call to end police brutality against black citizens. Even though the movement has engaged the company for nearly a decade, it was this particular event that made Black Lives Matter such a household name. As the public became aware of the movement’s agenda, many student organizations formed to support BLM in their efforts.
However, there were student support organizations before the events of 2020, one of these organizations is known as White coats for black lives (WC4BL). It is a student organization that includes medical students who came together in 2015 to help in the national fight against racism, violence and police brutality. The organization started locally in San Francisco, but over time, thanks to the internet and social media, new cells were founded in a series of medical schools and universities across the country.
At a time when only the bravest publicly showed their sympathy for victims of police brutality by kneeling, few universities were willing to declare their compassion through collective events and activities. However, the University of Central Florida was different from most, when all the staff, faculty, and students stepped out and showed concern. Through this action, Florida students made it clear that racism and social injustice are collective issues and that addressing these issues must take place in education first and foremost.
Support work for the BLM funded by the university
Today’s cities in the United States are decorated with messages and other graphic representations of support for the Black Lives Matter movements. However, public murals are often destroyed or repainted, as has happened in Phoenix and several other cities, so a project was needed that would keep a lasting testimony to our times. Universities have done their part by showing their support for social justice, as with college libraries. There is hardly a single university library that maintains at least one informative essay on the Black Lives Matter movement. Nonetheless, the University of West Florida (UWF) went further and selected a group of students who would create a lasting message of support for BLM.
Thanks to the Kugelman Honors Program, UWF staff, students and faculty have decided to honor all victims of police brutality, racism and social inequality. A group of fifteen students were selected to paint a public mural on the wall inside the university building. The University of West Florida has a long history of engaging students and visitors through public art; however, it was the first time that a university decided to devote resources to supporting the BLM movement and the ideas it advocates.
The value of this public mural does not lie in its creative and artistic contribution to UCF facilities or in helping the current generation of students feel good about themselves. It will be a lasting message that our generation has fought injustice caused by race, society and religious issues and it will sound as long as the wall is standing.
The influence of socially engaged organizations on students is immense and creates fertile ground for the improvement of social relations in the future. The impact of the BLM on Florida students and students in the United States has yet to show its depth when an educated generation under their influence takes control of the world. We can see it right now, with institutions starting to show understanding to BLM members and activists and engage in support activities. We can only hope that the commitment threshold will continue to grow over time.
Judy Nelson is a freelance content writer engaged with multiple online publishers. As a writer, Judy aims to provide the most relevant content on topics that concern the daily lives of her audience. Judy creates informative content based on real information and relevant sources.