Since 1923 • For a greater Loyola

The Maroon

Since 1923 • For a greater Loyola

The Maroon

Since 1923 • For a greater Loyola

The Maroon

Students uncertain about the future of African and African-American studies program

Sunny Bedford
An empty chair sits in an empty Bobet classroom. Students feel they are not supported in the African and African-American studies program.

Students feel uncertain about the quality and condition of African and African-American studies at Loyola after the controversial departure of the program’s director, Scott Heath. His departure left only two returning faculty members in the program, Patricia Boyett and Christian Bolden.

Boyett said that it is “in a rebuilding phase” which includes developing more courses and expanding staff.

However, Camilla Johnson, a junior sociology student, feels that without Heath there’s a lack of substantial courses for students “looking to broaden their horizons” through African American studies.

Johnson originally wanted to pursue African and African-American studies as a minor. However, she chose not to considering Heath’s absence.

“I’m feeling disheartened going into the school year,” Johnson said.

Heath was director of Loyola’s African and African-American studies program and Loyola’s only black English professor. The university chose not to renew his contract last semester, causing students to protest the matter.

Johnson was one of many students involved in these protests. She felt there was a lack of candor surrounding the entire situation last semester and said she wishes Loyola did more bolster African American studies.

However, Boyett is confident in the program’s ability to adapt, improve, and expand.

Boyett said the program has gained several new professors including Bentley Anderson, Dawson McCall, Sheryl Kennedy Haydel. But, only Boyett and Bolden are listed as participating faculty on the African and African-American studies program’s page on Loyola’s website.

These new hires come as students express concern surrounding a lack of course offerings for certain majors.

Boyett added that Loyola’s administration is taking the needs of African American studies into account while searching for new, full-time faculty members. These needs include hiring more people of color in order to better serve the program, she said, as this is “incredibly important.”

Boyett added that she is working to grow the program by developing new courses and collaborating with committees and student organizations on campus.

“I am hopeful that with the support from the administration in rebuilding, the program will flourish again,” she said.

Leave a Comment
More to Discover
About the Contributors
Ava Acharya
Ava Acharya, Assistant News Editor
Ava Acharya is currently the Assistant News Editor at the Maroon. She has written for the Maroon numerous times. She is a Mass Communication major with a concentration in Journalism and a minor in Political Science. Although she is originally from Northern California, Ava has since made New Orleans her home and embraces the Loyola community.
Sunny Bedford
Sunny Bedford, Senior Staff Photographer
Sunny Bedford currently serves as the senior staff photographer for the Maroon. Sunny is a freshman marketing major and enjoys photography and writing. In her free time, she often sits and breathes and occasionally thinks in tandem with such activities. Sunny can be reached at [email protected].

Comments (0)

All The Maroon Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *