Black washes hands of Quinnipiac

By on February 18, 2009

Director of Multicultural Affairs Tyrone Black will be leaving Quinnipiac on Feb. 25, and the split appears to be less than amicable.

“I didn’t feel like I was part of a greater team,” Black said of his time at Quinnipiac. “People just didn’t want to have a difficult discussion. It’s tough dealing with people who disagree with you and refuse to see your side because it’s all they’ve ever been taught.”

Black is leaving Quinnipiac to become director of college counseling at Cheshire Academy, the same position he held before coming to Quinnipiac in 2005.

Black said that there are many changes QU should make to more effectively serve the student body.

“The University really needs to look at every level, starting with the cabinet,” he said. “There should be a vice president for diversity and inclusion. They need to look at what my replacement for this position would be if they added a cabinet member. There has to be someone who serves as a liaison to the president when it comes to issues of diversity.”

Black has been thrust into the spotlight over the last few years, as there have been several race-related incidents at Quinnipiac. He said that while the administration dealt with the issues appropriately, he wished that he were more involved in the decision-making.

“When the administration brought the NAACP here to meet with the basketball team, I wasn’t informed, or even invited,” he said. “When you’re the director of multicultural affairs and the NAACP comes to campus and you aren’t invited, that hurts.”
Black had a very close relationship with the students who are involved with the Office of Multicultural Affairs. He said that one piece of advice he would give to his replacement was “to get to know the students, because they are the most important part of this job.”

He also said that he would warn them of the burnout that comes with the job.

“Sometimes it seems like you’re doing it all by yourself,” Black said. “There are a lot of late nights. And I’m talking about staying here until 1 in the morning.”

At Cheshire Academy, Black will no longer be working with any type of multicultural affairs. He will strictly deal with counseling. He said that were a student of color to approach him and ask about Quinnipiac, he would tell them that it is a wonderful school, but they will need to be strong because it will be a much more homogenous environment than they are used to.

Black also believes that with all of the time and money being spent on construction, the University should allocate some funds to build a multicultural center. Currently the Office of Multicultural Affairs occupies a small office upstairs in the athletic suite.
“It could be like a church, where people could come in and feel comfortable and speak their minds,” he said.

Black said that he enjoyed his time at Quinnipiac and regretted that he now had to move on. He also left one more piece of advice for whoever is selected as the new director of multicultural affairs.
“Learn to pat yourself on the back, because with this job, you really need it sometimes,” he said.


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