UMD Students Engage Chancellor Martin About Race Relations

At Monday’s race relations rally, my friend, local videographer, solar power activist and occasional political candidate Jay Cole of Youth Video Quest captured video of the remarkable and very emotional exchange between UMD students and Chancellor Martin.

The conversation will no doubt continue here and elsewhere. It must.

Related: Minnesota Public Radio has apparently been hosting an ongoing dialog about race relations and on Friday May 7th, 2010 they will have an online chat about race relations including a discussion about Duluth both on and off the UMD campus. As far as I know, any reasonable person can participate in the chat. Here is the link they sent me: How do we talk about race relations?

12 Comments

mer

about 11 years ago

I wish the same statements could be said by Chancellor Martin on sexism.

mac

about 11 years ago

Or about sexual assault.

blt2ls

about 11 years ago

Or sexual harassment.

Sherman

about 11 years ago

When I first read the headline, I thought it said enrage not engage.  I was thinking, "Holy Crap, how'd they piss her off?"

emmapeel

about 11 years ago

I didn't see the coverage on WDIO or on 3/6, but the Fox broadcast made no mention of this interaction.  Interesting.  It looked like a nice little meeting, not an actual confrontation.

Claire

about 11 years ago

I marched, but left the rally b/c one of my bosses was sending me emails and giving me shit about meeting a deadline, so I missed the "confrontation." I heard about it later from a member of the community who seemed to think it was a very big deal and thought, sitting there, that there was a lot of anger directed at the chancellor. Also something not caught on this video: my friend said students, who were standing before the stage in solidarity with the speakers, moved away from the stage and sat down facing the stage when Martin was announced as the next speaker. A lot of tension there during Martin's speech. Not surprising. I walked both right ahead and right behind her during the march, and she and Dean Jack Bowman were yacking the whole time, when the march was meant to be silent and reflective about why we were marching. As we walked up Woodland, she and Bowman started complaining about how tired they were, how hard it was on them walking uphill.

wildgoose

about 11 years ago

EmmaP,

That is part of why I wanted to share it and why I mentioned Jay.  If you watch the background of the video you will see that the Newsies are set up on the western side of the Gym, opposite this shot.  They were there to get what they needed and leave.  So when this happened they didn't even have the right camera angles to catch it, and they probably didn't have time to cover it in their 2-3 minute stories, even if they had wanted to include it.  I think that citizen journalists like Jay or Ramos, "The Cheerleader," bloggers and others who take the time to allow stories to take shape and then give the audience space to make their own decisions about what happened are priceless.  

In terms of the actual content of this exchange/confrontation/"nice little meeting" or whatever you might call it, there is a lot to ponder here, from the words exchanged, to the body language, to the mixed reactions in the audience, and more. 10 minutes of raw, essentially unedited video like this was the perfect medium to capture that.  And its something that you just won't find on television, not even public television in this town.  

In defense of the "newsies" I didn't actually watch the reports they did and they may have been very good. I have no doubt that local reporters are hard working, smart and that they try to tell the best, most accurate stories that they can given the time, technical and editorial constraints that they work under.  Not to threadjack my own post or anything but ... Total aside, twice this week I saw Trevor Roy out doing work BY HIMSELF, including a live shot at the DECC yesterday -- 20 years ago you might have had a producer, a camera operator and possibly a sound person doing a live shot like that, so people can complain, and often I complain the loudest, but reporters are certainly not lazy.

Tony D.

about 11 years ago

Martin can't leave Duluth soon enough as far as I'm concerned. Earlier this year she proved that her own exercise regime was more important to her than the safety of her female students.  Her ego apparently know no bounds, as nearly every page of each issue the UMD alumni newsletter, The Bridge (whose production she oversees), contains a photo of her. She embarrassed UMD and Duluth by throwing a drink on an opposing women's hockey team coach. 

And her successful push to increase UMD's student population (and, therefore, the tuition dollars coming into the U system) has led to overcrowding on a campus lacking sufficient housing, and then when off-campus student housing skyrocketed and became an issue a couple years back, she was silent on the matter. When I taught there (during Martin's regime) we joked that if you wanted to go to UMD and lived north of Hinkley, the only qualifications were a pulse and a checkbook, brain optional. With a policy like that, you're bound to get the occasional ignorant idiots--like those two facebook racists--walking the halls with everyone else.

Maybe if less of her time was spent attending social functions and having her picture taken and more time interacting with her students, her priorities would be different. In the end colleges are businesses, plain and simple. And as chief administrator of a business, the bottom line of her job is to increase the University's bottom line. The customers--er, students--will keep coming no matter who is at the helm, or how he or she steers the ship.

hbh1

about 11 years ago

I concur on the publication/photo op overload. It's like Where's Waldo for Idiots. Each page? Gimme a break.

Claire

about 11 years ago

Yeah, Chancellor Martin does like being the center of attention. I was taking pics of some literary celebrities in town for Split Rock a few years ago -- and somehow she got into the pics -- even though the policy of my magazine is only people in the industry for pics. I was a little irritated. Can't remember if we used the pics or not -- I think we did use one I got without her in it.

emmapeel

about 11 years ago

Sorry, wildgoose, I should have been clearer in my original post.  What I meant was that the news coverage made it _seem_ like it was a nice little meeting, when obviously it wasn't.

Thanks for bringing this to wider attention.  I don't think this incident is going to just go away, hard as the administration at UMD might try.

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