Students say racism is still an issue on University of Alabama campus

Published: Nov. 13, 2015 at 3:40 AM CST|Updated: Nov. 20, 2015 at 3:49 AM CST
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TUSCALOOSA, AL (WBRC) - It's no secret, the University of Alabama (UA) has had its fair share of race-related issues through the years.

Student Government President Elliot Spiller says it's gotten better but adds there's still a ways to go to make all students feel respected. Recently, Spillers along with other students created a video called "How Does It Feel to be the Problem" showing what they've gone through at UA.

Amanda Bennett says she sees some form of racism daily on the University of Alabama campus.

"People being called the n-word or just people looking at you a certain way or people not wanting to look you in the eye or people allowing doors to slam in your face or people making comments about you not being intelligent," Bennett said.

That's why Bennett along with Spillers and others created a video about being targets of racism on campus. Spillers says he was called the n-word at a fraternity party during his freshman year.

He says at that moment he chose to be proactive and run for a position of influence to help change the divide. He's the first African American to hold that position in nearly four decades.

The video seems to have energized conversation among students about race relations at UA.

"From what I saw it was representative to a lot of stories I hear people tell me. Things they've experienced. Things that I've experienced on campus. So it's really nice to see it put on a platform that can be shared with a lot of people," Johanna Obenda, a senior at UA said.

"I think that if we can all just watch the video and listen to what myself, Elliot and AJ have to say and think about our experiences and think about how racism affects us personally and kind of humanize us, we can all kind of work together, talk about it and make actual change," Bennett said.

One of the changes Spillers wants to see is an office of diversity, equality and inclusion. He feels there needs to be someone at the administrative level at UA who can address these issues and make sure all students feel respected.

You can watch the full video here:

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