As an underrepresented student in higher education, it is not uncommon to hear stories of discrimination. But, in times of distress, a support group is a great resource to turn to. I had never been at the receiving end of discrimination, but I have heard stories from friends who experienced discrimination on campus and in the classroom.
Do you remember when Donald Trump was elected president? I do. It was November 8th of 2016. I was scrolling through my Facebook newsfeed when I saw a post about how an Asian female student was confronted by a white man and his group of friends. He said some racist stuff to her and grabbed her wrist. When he would not let go, the student punched him in the throat. The white man called the police the female student was handcuffed, but eventually released. The contents of this event were two years ago, and as of now, her post is no longer on Facebook. But I still remembered how angry I felt when I read that post. I thought it wasn’t unfair. I felt so scared that I didn’t want to step out of my apartment because I was afraid someone was going to attack me.
At this time, I felt like the University was divided and students were on high alert. But, I remembered that the U of M sent out a campus-wide email to let students know that this was a safe space. The staffs on campus even invited students to come together to talk about this kind of stuff. This is why a support group is important: you have people to talk to and confide to in times of distress.
Again, I want to share the following resources with you guys. I have included the resources that students can find at the University of Minnesota. Some can work great as a support group while others are resources for you if you want to talk to someone about problems you are having. Maybe there are similar resources on your campus too!
http://mcae.umn.edu/
https://counseling.umn.edu/lets-talk
https://boynton.umn.edu/de-stress