Marshall University: Racially Restricted Orientation Classes

Category: Freedom of Conscience
Schools: Marshall University

When FIRE learned that Marshall University had limited enrollment in several “University Studies 101″ courses to “African American Students Only,” it letter to University President Stephen J. Kopp explaining that racially segregated courses are both unlawful and misguided. In Kopp’s response, he claimed that the courses were open to both white and African American students. FIRE noted that the course description effectively enforced segregation, regardless of the official status of the courses. In response to FIRE’s objections, Marshall has changed the course description for UNI 101, so that several sections in fall of 2007 will focused on “African American Student Issues,” drawing students concerned about African American issues instead of limiting enrollment by race.

  • FIRE lauds Marshall’s dropping of race-based course restrictions

    August 17, 2006

    by Jim Brown Agape Press A campus watchdog has convinced Marshall University in West Virginia to stop offering racially segregated classes. The school had been limiting several freshman orientation classes to “African American students only.” The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) wrote a letter to Marshall’s President Stephen Kopp, protesting the racially segregated classes, after which the university changed the course descriptions, dropping the race-based restrictions. This fall, several sections of the school’s University Studies 101 course will focus on “African American student issues,” but will now be open to all students, regardless of race or ancestry, and […]

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  • Marshall drops ‘African-American students only’ from course list

    August 9, 2006

    by Shaya Tayefe Mohajer Wilkes Barre Times-Leader   Marshall University has dropped the words “African-American students only” from an orientation class listing on its fall schedule, following a warning from an educational foundation that it could be violating state and federal law. In the Fall 2005 course schedule, the racially restrictive phrase appeared on the comment line for three UNI 101 orientation classes. This year, the phrase has been removed, though the one-credit elective course continues to be offered. “In the case of Marshall, which is a public college, they did the right thing by taking action and dropping this […]

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  • Marshall-Race Orientation

    August 10, 2006

    Marshall University has dropped the words African-American students only from a listing on its fall schedule, following an educational foundation’s warning that it could be violating state and federal law. In the Fall 2005 course schedule, the racially restrictive phrase appeared on the comment line for three orientation classes. This year, the phrase has been removed, though the one-credit elective course continues to be offered. The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education sent Marshall a letter in November 2005 asking them to drop the language. The Philadelphia-based nonpartisan, nonprofit group cited court decisions dating back to Brown versus Board of […]

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  • Marshall University Dissolves Racially Restricted Orientation Classes

    August 9, 2006

    HUNTINGTON, W.Va., August 9, 2006—Marshall University has taken the advice of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) and removed racial restrictions from an orientation course for first-year students. Last year’s listing for University Studies 101 (UNI 101) stated that certain sections were limited to “African American Students Only.” Thanks to FIRE’s intervention, several sections of UNI 101 this coming fall will focus on “African American Student Issues,” but will not exclude any student based upon race or ancestry. “FIRE is pleased that Marshall has changed the enrollment requirements for UNI 101,” stated FIRE President Greg Lukianoff. “Students’ rights […]

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  • FIRE Letter to Marshall University President Stephen J. Kopp, November 4, 2005

    November 4, 2005

    November 4, 2005 President Stephen J. Kopp Office of the President Marshall University 1 John Marshall Drive Huntington, West Virginia 25755 Sent by U.S. Mail and Facsimile (304-696-6453) Dear President Kopp: As you can see from the list of our Directors and Board of Advisors, FIRE unites leaders in the fields of civil rights and civil liberties, scholars, journalists, and public intellectuals across the political and ideological spectrum on behalf of liberty, legal equality, academic freedom, due process, and freedom of speech on America’s college campuses.  Our website, thefire.org, will give you a greater sense of our identity and activities. […]

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