Presentation Title

Underrepresented Students’ Experiences of Racial Microaggressions at a Private, Catholic University

Faculty Mentor

Steven Neal, Kimberly Misa

Start Date

17-11-2018 3:00 PM

End Date

17-11-2018 5:00 PM

Location

CREVELING 76

Session

POSTER 3

Type of Presentation

Poster

Subject Area

behavioral_social_sciences

Abstract

From the role of southern and northern universities in their ownership of slaves, participation in the slave trade, and development of scientific racism; to the use of quota systems in the north and segregation in the south that limited or completely prevented black students from attending white colleges and universities; to the increase in reports of overt, racially charged incidents and negative shifts in campus climate at colleges and universities following the 2016 presidential election, racism has historically shaped American higher education institutions. This understanding is the motivation for beginning the present study which researches undergraduate students of color and their perceived experiences of racial microaggressions—subtle, covert insults directed toward people of color—at a private, Jesuit university in Southern California. There is extensive research on students’ experiences related to racial microaggressions at public (and some private) institutions. However, there is little to no research that include students of color and their experiences at private, Catholic universities. Using critical race theory as a framework for analyzing participants’ interview, focus group and survey responses, this qualitative study seeks to determine 1) whether students have been the target of racial microaggressions by other students, faculty and staff, and 2) the various campus settings in which students may have experienced racial microaggressions. Preliminary results from interview and focus group data show that 74% of participants have experienced racial microaggressions while on campus. Such research can be used to help campus programs and support services determine whether support is needed for students who have been the target of racial microaggressions and can inform the implementation of new policies and practices that will help prevent racial microaggressions at the university.

Summary of research results to be presented

This poster presentation will present results from the first half of the present study, including qualitative data from interviews and focus groups detailing students’ experiences of racial microaggressions and some accounts of overt racism. Of the 19 students who participated in the study thus far, 14 students (74%) reported that they have experienced racial microaggressions while on campus at the university.

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Nov 17th, 3:00 PM Nov 17th, 5:00 PM

Underrepresented Students’ Experiences of Racial Microaggressions at a Private, Catholic University

CREVELING 76

From the role of southern and northern universities in their ownership of slaves, participation in the slave trade, and development of scientific racism; to the use of quota systems in the north and segregation in the south that limited or completely prevented black students from attending white colleges and universities; to the increase in reports of overt, racially charged incidents and negative shifts in campus climate at colleges and universities following the 2016 presidential election, racism has historically shaped American higher education institutions. This understanding is the motivation for beginning the present study which researches undergraduate students of color and their perceived experiences of racial microaggressions—subtle, covert insults directed toward people of color—at a private, Jesuit university in Southern California. There is extensive research on students’ experiences related to racial microaggressions at public (and some private) institutions. However, there is little to no research that include students of color and their experiences at private, Catholic universities. Using critical race theory as a framework for analyzing participants’ interview, focus group and survey responses, this qualitative study seeks to determine 1) whether students have been the target of racial microaggressions by other students, faculty and staff, and 2) the various campus settings in which students may have experienced racial microaggressions. Preliminary results from interview and focus group data show that 74% of participants have experienced racial microaggressions while on campus. Such research can be used to help campus programs and support services determine whether support is needed for students who have been the target of racial microaggressions and can inform the implementation of new policies and practices that will help prevent racial microaggressions at the university.