Campus should be fair to allBy Xavier Burgin | 11/02/2011 11:10pm
I have come to accept that being a student at The University of Alabama means I must endure certain groups receiving unfair privileges. I’ve learned the University is very adept at being biased and partial when no one speaks up against it.
A few months ago, I wrote an article pointing out Financial Aid’s tendency to ignore your calls or mislead you when speaking to them. I received a call from the Vice President of Financial Aid apologizing, but I never received the money I lost from their mistake.
The McNair Scholars Program, a very prestigious program at The University of Alabama, looks down upon candidates who pursue artistic endeavors. Black fraternity and sorority parties held on campus are frequently shut down early for no apparent reason, while white fraternities and sororities are allowed to have their festivities run until 2 a.m.
Students are forced to leave parking lots on game days, when people who do not pay tuition nor attend this school come on campus. The Lakeside diner that was at the top of Lakeside when I was a freshman was shut down after an increase in African-American students “loitering” during late hours.
I can’t save the world. I can’t even save this University from its blatant display of favoritism. My words won’t change the status quo, but I can at least give myself some therapeutic satisfaction from knowing a few will read this.
I’m not griping over the big issues. I just want to point out the small ones and ask why. I’m a resident advisor at Friedman Hall. I’m forced to deal with the incessant noise, drinking and racial slurs (they tend to say the n-word a lot when they’re drunk) from the fraternity parties on weekdays. I can live with it on weekends. Who doesn’t go out and party? What most annoys me is the clogging of our parking lot with freshmen members of the fraternities who do not have a decal for the Friedman area.
It’s not a problem at night, since UA allows students to park anywhere after 6 p.m., but it becomes a major problem when it is morning and these same cars have not left their spots. I would like to believe parking tickets would deter them from parking illegally in the lot, but they never receive them.
Parking officials will constantly enforce their rules in areas such as Paty, Lakeside and Riverside but take a complete blind eye to the parking problem that constantly occurs in the Friedman parking lot. Apparently, being a part of a fraternity notifies the people who give out citations that they should not ticket you.
This came to a boiling point for me when the lot was completely clogged with non-Friedman decal cars, which forced me to park in a yellow area to get my groceries out. I’m still in the wrong. I should have gone back out and drove my car to a parking spot, but I was tired, so I fell asleep the minute I locked my door.
I woke up in the morning to find my car had a ticket. No problem, I thought to myself. I’m sure all the cars who are illegally parked and don’t have Friedman decals probably got the same fine. Can you see where this is going?
No other car that was illegally parked or didn’t have a Friedman decal was ticketed. I thought this had to be a mistake.
I’m actually in a fraternity as well, just an African-American one. I checked each car. No tickets whatsoever. I asked myself how the University could get away with something so blatantly biased.
Simple – no one honestly speaks up. Now, I’m not condoning my actions. I got the ticket because I parked illegally. The school does not see this as an excuse, even if other illegally parked cars impede your path. I’d just like to understand how my car was the only one chosen to be ticketed.
If you read this and you have a story of the University committing an unfair act, write it. Send it in. Things don’t change if we are all apathetic.
Xavier Burgin is senior majoring in interdisciplinary studies and film production. His column runs biweekly on Thursdays.