Thanks are in order for Zenon Zawada’s “Ebony and Ivory Tower” (4/11) for exposing the unacceptable conditions on D.C.’s predominantly white university campuses.

This is a subject that deserves greater analysis. Arguments that “we can’t find any qualified faculty” or “they played the race card by complaining about their treatment” fall on deaf ears when only two hours to the south exists a school that posted the highest retention and graduation rate for African-American college students for any four-year university in the country while maintaining a significant 12-percent African-American population. For an out-of-state student, this school costs less than most of the schools mentioned in the article, but is rated as high as or higher overall than the schools cited. It also boasts a strong alumni network, especially among African-Americans. The school is the University of Virginia.

Now, the place is not perfect, and it had more than its share of serious student-administration conflicts over the years, which continue to this day. If UVA, however, which is a traditional, Southern institution that relies upon tenuous public funding, can outshine D.C. universities, what does that say about American, Georgetown, and GW’s administrative commitment to ensuring that their students see more than the same pale faces every day?

Given the lack of any coverage of these issues in student papers like the Hatchet and the Eagle, Washington City Paper could really investigate something. I must also say, I’m pleasantly surprised that for once the City Paper addresses a real topic that doesn’t perform a character assassination on an African-American resident.

Silver Spring, Md.

via the Internet