Education

Colorado State Hires Counselor To Treat ‘Racial Battle Fatigue’

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Blake Neff Reporter

Colorado State University (CSU) has hired a counselor to assist students suffering from “racial battle fatigue,” the school announced Monday.

The hire was made last summer, but publicized Monday when the school published an update on its response to a series of student recommendations regarding diversity. The list of recommendations, which resemble a set of demands, were issued in November 2015 when student activists marched in solidarity with Concerned Student 1950, a black protest group at the University of Missouri. Since receiving the list, CSU says the requests have served as a “touchstone” for its actions over the past year. (RELATED: After Protests Mizzou Has A Big Budget Gap)

One of the recommendations called for the school to dedicate more resources to treating “mental health issues specifically dealing with racial oppression and racial battle fatigue.”

In its Monday announcement, CSU gleefully announced it had met this request.

“This summer, the Counseling Center hired a psychologist whose specialty is working with racial battle fatigue for students of color on predominantly white campuses,” the school said.

“Racial battle fatigue” is a concept coined by University of Utah professor William Smith. Smith argued that non-white people suffer an accumulation of fatigue from trying to overcome microaggressions, stereotypes, and misconceptions in their day to day lives. This accumulated fatigue supposedly causes headaches and exhaustion, which help to perpetuate the alleged systemic advantages of white people.

“This has been a great step, but we still have a lot of work to do,” Vice President for Student Affairs Blanche Hughes said in the school’s update. “Our plan over the next few years is to continue to increase staff and programming where needed to meet the needs of students and the university.”

The school boasted about other ways it is meeting last November’s demands. Several student senate seats have been allotted to specific groups and organizations based on “diversity,” and the school is also crafting a wider diversity plan with an eye towards increasing the overall population of “diverse” students. The school also says it is considering making Introduction to Ethnic Studies and Introduction to Women Studies required courses for all students, though it may find a broader means of increasing diversity within the curriculum.

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