(Headline USA) A California university urged students of color to report incidents that cause “race-related stress,” such as being called on by a professor in class.
California State University Monterey Bay’s Personal Growth and Counseling Center released guidance this week offering tips on how students can cope with the “burden of race-related stress” and the psychological and physical consequences it can have.
“Unfortunately, among students of color, the common stressors of the college experience are often compounded by the burden of race-related stress. Racism and discrimination continue to be a fact of life for many students of color on college campuses. At times, racism is overt, such as the use of racial slurs, graffiti, or even violence,” the school said.
“However, it can also frequently arise in more subtle forms, such as stereotyping, assumptions, or exclusion. In any form, racism and discrimination add stress and challenges to the lives of students of color. Finding ways to cope and bringing concerns to the forefront are important steps in owning personal power,” the guidance continued.
To deal with this stress, students should document “acts of racism or intolerance” by reporting peers and faculty members to the administration.
“Don’t ignore or minimize your experiences, and think broadly about what could be an act of racism. It doesn’t have to be an overt act (e.g., professor consistently not calling on you or minimizing your contributions, curriculum racially biased, etc). Talk to someone you trust, and report it,” the school said.
The guidance claims race-related stress can cause anxiety, depression, paranoia and self-blame. It can also lead to heart disease, hypertension and muscle tension, the guidance said.
“It is important to understand that you can experience race-related stress even if you were mistaken that a racist act occurred. Race-related stress reactions only require that a person believes that they were the target of racism,” the guidance states.
“Students of color who experience stereotype threat may begin to believe that their peers do not regard them as individuals, but as representatives of their racial/ethnic group.”