We still don’t feel safe

Racial discrimination on campus is alive and well

Racial discrimination on campus is rampant

I, Skye Kimya, believe I was detained on Feb. 14 over a $40 on-campus parking ticket because of the color of my skin.

Around 8 a.m. that morning, I walked out of a building on the northeast side of campus to find two parking officers giving me a ticket for where my car was parked.

After getting into a small verbal altercation with these parking officers, I realized it wasn’t worth the argument. I asked them to give me the ticket and let me go about my day.

The parking officers were not happy with me driving off while they were still giving me my ticket, and before I knew it, Humboldt State police Chief Donn G. Peterson was pulling me over in an undercover vehicle.

Within minutes, another University Police Department vehicle arrived to the scene. I was interrogated for approximately 10 minutes by two officers on each side of my car about the incident that had just occurred. After the officers spoke with each other for a few minutes, another cop car pulled up, and UPD officer Delmar Tompkins made his way to my driver side.

“Please step out of your vehicle and put your hands behind your back,” Tompkins said.

“Excuse me? I don’t understand,” I said.

I was told I was being detained under suspicion of assault with law enforcement. After questioning this accusation, I was told I was a threat at that time and needed to be detained for the safety of the officers because they did not know the full story yet.

Confused and scared, I got out of the car, did what Tompkins asked me to do and began to cry like a baby as he placed me in the back of his cop car.

Imagine being detained and told you are a threat, under suspicion of assault, by a white officer twice your size. Imagine feeling confused and alone. Imagine questioning what could possibly happen next.

When you grow up trying to understand the purpose behind discrimination, you begin to notice how common it is and wonder if it will ever go away.

At times, you lose hope for your children’s generation. Yet other times, you want to become the greatest activist that has ever walked this planet, in order to actually make things right for those future generations.

Students at HSU don’t feel at home. We don’t feel as though there are people by our side, and we don’t see the amount of people of color around campus that the HSU pamphlets and website photos presented to us when we were deciding which university to attend.

According to HSU’s “fast facts,” the incoming class of fall 2016 consisted of 549 Hispanic/Latino students, 51 African American students, 31 Asian students, 11 American Indian students and four Pacific Islander students.

Additionally, the entire fall 2016 student body consisted of 2,869 Hispanic/Latino students, 271 African American students, 279 Asian students, 89 American Indian students and 20 Pacific Islander students.

With a student body total of 8,503, you can imagine what it is like to see only 270 other faces similar to yours on one side, and only 88 other faces similar to yours on the other side.

Hispanic and Latino students made up almost 35 percent of the entire student body that same year. Seems like a reasonable amount, right?

HSU actually receives funds from the U.S Department of Education ever since they became a Hispanic-Serving Institution at the start of the fall 2013 semester.

To become a Hispanic-Serving Institution, the university has to have an undergraduate full-time equivalent enrollment of at least 25 percent Hispanic students, and HSU was at 26.6 percent for the fall 2013 semester.

HSU continues to flaunt a great amount of diversity that it does not have. These incoming students, like many of us who were once in their shoes, attend HSU and slowly begin to witness and experience how diverse this campus and community is truly NOT.

Just the other day, the NAACP Eureka Branch called out HSU and asked them to stop recruiting students from minority-majority neighborhoods until changes are made around campus and within the community.

A majority of the students of color who have attended HSU for at least two academic years have experienced some type of discrimination, whether it was verbal, physical or emotional.

In 2013, Tompkins had a civil lawsuit filed against him by a Fieldbrook man who alleged he was the victim of a brutal assault back in January 2012. It turns out the Fieldbrook man wasn’t lying and the Cal State University system paid him $135,000 to keep him quiet.

As students of color at this university, how are we supposed to feel safe if our own UPD officers don’t do things the right way and have our back?

Cases like the murders of HSU African American students Corey Clark (2001) and David Josiah Lawson (2017) are still unsolved to this day, and we as students have not seen enough action taken by our president, UPD and even the Arcata Police Department.

Students of color do not feel safe, nor protected here. The NAACP Eureka Branch is right and something has to change before HSU tries to drag more students of color to this campus.

Share This Post

More Stories

Nina G uses comedy to start conversations

During the virtual comedy event held by the SDRC, Nina Ghiselli tells her story and emphasizes the importance of student disability resources within schools.

It’s not just the Capitol Police

As the world watched from their televisions on January 6, we witnessed scenes unfold before our eyes that were, to many, unimaginable: supporters of President Trump swarmed the steps of the U.S. Capitol Building, then proceeded to break in and

The San Jose State University Football Team Comes to Humboldt

On a day’s notice from administration, the SJSU football team spends a week and a half in Humboldt practicing because their county did not allow it. Students react to their presence on campus in the midst of a pandemic. Directed

Homelessness in Humboldt, CA

This is the first trailer of a homeless documentary created by HSU students. We have spent months filming and will continue to film throughout the next year. Follow the heartbreaking stories of the homeless community around Humboldt county and the

Thrifty Arcata

Taking a tour of the local thrift shops in Arcata during the COVID-19 pandemic. Directed and produced by Skylar Gaven.

House Plants Generate Peace and Meaning During the Pandemic

Three different people with the same love for plants! House plants have become quite popular these days especially since we’re all basically stuck inside during the pandemic. Not only are they aesthetically pleasing, but these beautiful green oxygen-makers provide more

Prop 22 represents political favoritism of money over workers’ rights

California’s passing of proposition 22 on Nov. 5 represents a frustrating history of workers’ rights being trampled by the overwhelming influence of greed in politics.  This proposition forces app-based workers to be classified as independent contractors, rather than employees. This

Remembering Evelyn Andrews 10 months after her passing

By Katelyn Dendas It has been 10 months since my friend, teammate and freshman year dorm mate, Evelyn Andrews, passed away. I don’t remember what the grief counselor said or what transpired after that Monday, but I do remember arriving

Protestors seek to defund HSUPD

Two local, activist organizations work together to stage a sit-in against Humboldt State’s police department.

Getting stuck on the Trump train

Writer Anthony Aragon details his experience of accidentally joining a pro-Trump car rally.

Justin Turner exposes the World Series to COVID-19

Justin Turner didn’t need to be the story in the wake of the Dodgers’ first World Series victory in 32 years. Instead here we are, wondering what sort of, if any, punishment Major League Baseball will decide to hand down

Four more years of fear

News Editor Carlos Holguin explains why he is worried about the next four years.

Dismal democracy

The Lumberjack editorial staff comments on America’s flawed electoral system As the world watches the United States 2020 election results, waiting for our pseudodemocratic process to churn out a new president, historically unprecedented voting methods misrepresents the reported Election Day

The Mario triple pack invokes a nostalgia attack

When I was a child, the first video game system I owned was a Nintendo 64. Among the games I played was Super Mario 64. I played it all the time and when I wasn’t playing it, I was lying

Women’s lacrosse drops their competitive season

Greta Roberts, president and player of Humboldt State University’s women’s lacrosse team, made the decision with her coach and teammates to cancel the upcoming spring season. The team decided that not being able to recruit in the fall would be

Dobby’s proposition opinions

Haven’t voted yet? Well, you’re running out of time. Here’s a quick rundown of California’s propositions on the ballot this year

Corporations buy out propositions

In a series of general and misleading advertisements, corporate backers of Propositions 22 and 23 show their grubby hands

CDOR continues virtually

The Campus and Community Dialogue On Race returns covering global justice for Black Lives.

Indigenous Food Sovereignty

Local food management practices of the Tolowa Dee-ni, Yurok and other indigenous peoples.

Humboldt State Admin attempts to discredit the Lumberjack

***A Lumberjack editorial represents both the majority opinion of the student newspaper’s editorial board, nine editors, as well as the overwhelming majority of Humboldt State University’s student body. Collectively, an editorial echos, embodies and advocates for community beliefs.*** Insensitive communications

Music of the Moment 6

21 Savage and Metro Boomin drop a classic with “Savage Mode II”

Spartans arrive at HSU despite campus concerns

***Editor’s note: SJSU football program was tested in congruence with Mountain West conference guidelines*** The Spartans have arrived and this time they’re not carrying spears or shields. Instead the San Jose State football team stepped onto the Humboldt State campus

Music of the Moment 5

After shooting Megan Thee Stallion, Tory Lanez cancels himself

Welcome to the Twilight Zone

Comparisons between episodes of the classic TV show The Twilight Zone and our own dismal reality

Music of the Moment 4

YoungBoy Never Broke Again dodges the sophomore slump with his new album “Top.”

Self-Care Cuts

Changing your hair to change your life

HSU Seaweed Farm sets sail

The first commercially-approved seaweed farm in California will be on the map.

Music of the Moment 3

For better or worse, Big Sean is likely gone for good.

More Layers, More Protection?

Humboldt State demands double masking on campus, does more layers equal more protection?

The Ethnic Studies Bill is a Blessing

Ethnic Studies will thankfully become mandatory for all California State University students – as it should be.

The Complex Interface of Humans and Wildfires

How fire suppression is a mixed bag in Humboldt County Every fire season, blankets of smoke roll over Humboldt County. Here on the coast, that’s as close to wildfires as some of us get. But our practice of fire suppression

Defund HSU’s Police Department

Incidents of racism from the former UPD Chief, past examples of excessive force from current officers and a shrinking university budget.

How Not To Be Bitten By A Kitten

Please prepare to be prey Congratulations, a baby feline has recently come into your life. If they’re anywhere from 2-18 months, they bite. They see you as prey. Because you are prey. You always have been. You always will be.

Graduating Into Uncharted Waters

HSU graduates attempt to navigate a world turned upside-down by COVID-19 In May, Humboldt State University graduated hundreds of students, as it does every year. Unlike past years, graduates didn’t get to shake hands with their respective dean and receive

HSU Cultural Center Budget Slashed

Associated Students leaves student body devastated after significant reductions in cultural center’s budget.

All aboard the plague ship

Unprecedented times are met with normalized behavior, HSU puts students and community members at higher risk after reopening campus and student housing.

Music of the Moment

The hip-hop community rallies behind the Black Lives Matter Movement

Inside the Immune System

How the body uses multiple levels of defense against foreign intruders

Catcalling Can’t Continue

Verbal harassment toward women is about control and the assertion of gender discrimination

Major League Marijuana

Why I don’t think marijuana is everything it’s cracked up to be in baseball

Pigs Compost on Campus

CCAT tries to reduce HSU’s food waste footprint through new pig program