After a recent public and vulgar example of hate speech broadcast over the Bucknell radio station, WVBU, the student body received numerous emails from President Bravman. Every Bucknell student shared the same response of curiosity as to what someone could have possibly done wrong this time after they saw an email with the subject line “[Students]” from the President. Could there have been another email hack, or would this email potentially be upbeat and shouting praise for a Bucknell student’s behavior. Alas, it was neither. Instead, it was far worse.
Three Bucknell students had decided that it was a good idea to shout racial slurs on WVBU, perhaps assuming that nobody would be listening to the student radio station on a Friday evening. This was not the case, since there were actually several listeners…at the Lewisburg Penitentiary. As it turns out, WVBU is one of the few approved radio stations for those truly held in Lewisburg against their will (although some students may sometimes feel this way, it is not actually the case). The prisoner reported the incident to a member of the Lewisburg Prison Project, and a few days later the students were deservedly expelled.
President Bravman then held an assembly to attempt to change the campus climate at Bucknell. The attendance was shockingly high compared to most optional campus events at Bucknell, with one-third of the student body actually making an appearance at the event. Bravman took this opportunity to tell every person in attendance what was wrong with their behavior and demand that change occur. Obviously, this was a very effective strategy, much better than letting a fellow student share an experience or providing a true call to action rather than a punishing rant. As it turns out, there is no longer racism at Bucknell. If only we had thought to speak about the issue in a Weis center event earlier, many people would never have faced discrimination on our campus.