The GPA Increase Targets Students of Color


Destene Savariau News Editor

There have been many whispers, and many loud, disgruntled ones, about a rise in the required grade point average for board leaders. However, I do not think the administration realizes how much this policy will discourage struggling or multitasking students from leadership positions. Additionally, as a social justice university, it will target students of color.  

Playing devil’s advocate, this could be all for optics. Having clubs with board leaders above 2.5 GPAs could be great for the school’s image, most notably for multicultural clubs. The school could easily claim that it is a win for the university as it also serves its social justice agenda. They can claim that they have high-achieving, brilliant minority leaders. As if we are monkeys in cages meant to be on display for the sake of the university’s image.  

Nevertheless, if that were the case, this accomplishment would still only be thanks to students’ hard work and dedication. Yet the school would still claim it was their doing that inspired this accomplishment, much like they have done for many multicultural achievements.  

Additionally, many eboard leaders and students of color maintain a decent to good academic standing while working multiple jobs, taking care of families and commuting from home where they have more responsibilities.  

Despite all this, hardworking students like them still put their all into being a leader and running a club. While they may not all have a 2.5 GPA, this new requirement could force these students out of the clubs and cause the club to shut down due to a lack of leadership.  

On top of that, leadership positions are excellent preparers for the real world and are what help build character. So, in addition to looking good on a student’s resume, eboard positions help develop social, networking, confidence and leadership skills.  

With this possible, incoming policy, one thing the administration seems to forget is that GPAs are much harder to maintain than they seem to think. Once it drops, it is hard to get back up, and all it takes is one bad semester. And if students are working multiple jobs to pay for college, holding them to the same standard as those who do not have to struggle for education is unfair.

Requiring a student to maintain a 2.5 GPA to be a leader when students only need a 2.0 to graduate is ludicrous. Especially when it does not consider students’ personal lives. Being a leader or holding a position of power in the real world does not require a high GPA. Student leaders should be inspired to maintain a high GPA as they have a position of power instead of forcing it on them.  

Besides, as much as the university wants to brag about this being their first year with 51% of minority admissions, this is still a predominantly white institution. One year of granted tokenism does not change that, and this higher GPA requirement will be no problem for privileged individuals who can afford to skate throughout college.

In contrast, many of us not-so-privileged students must work four times as hard to get half of what the privileged have. Adding a higher GPA requirement may “build character,” as people love to say about the black, brown and disenfranchised struggle, but only at the cost of many disadvantaged students’ mental well-being under all that pressure. And at a division two school no less, not even an Ivy League. 

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