This is the second series of interviews with black student leaders. These interviews are designated to help students gain better insight into perspective of black students here at Tech.
This interview is with Dwight Crewe, a sophomore majoring in political science from Newport News, Virginia. Dwight is the former president of the Virginia Tech Human Relations Council.
Mike: Dwight, do you feel that you are accepted by the rest of the students here at Tech?
Dwight: I couldn't say being accepted isn't really important. I take it for granted that I am because if I become worried about that what everybody else thinks, I will be shaped by other people's opinions.
Mike:Have you notices any discrimination on the part of students?
Dwight:I think Dixie and the Confederate flag are symbols of discrimination. Also, there is some individual name calling. Convert discrimination is an everyday thing. I haven't noticed any discrimination in the community except in housing. The situation with housing is improving.
Mike:Are you personally offended by the confederate flag and dixie?
Dwight:Yes, history has defined them as symbols of racism. The majority of students do not see them as offensive, but a small group does. Dixie, like the flag, can be perceived as racist. It causes a conflict in the mind of a black student between racial pride and school spirit.
Mike: Do you think the Human Relations Council has been successful?
Dwight:Yes, they have been very successful this year with a lot more to come, especially in the area of recruiting more black students. Things like Dixie and the confederate flag hurt recruiting.
Mike: How do you feel about interracial dating?
Dwight: I am a black man and to a black, 'Black is Beautiful'. I wouldn't encourage interracial dating; however, nobody has the right to tell somebody who to like or not to like. That's playing God.
Mike: What can be done to improve relations between the races here at Tech?
Dwight: A black study program, open to both races, is helpful. There are two separate cultures in America and these study programs can help find common ground.
Through his work with the Human Relations Council, Dwight has brought to light many of the problems faced by black students at Tech and many of these problems are being resolved. Dwight has had the courage to lead his fellow students in areas that are not particularly popular such as the confederate flag issue. Thanks to the leadership of Dwight Crewe and people like him, Virginia Tech is beginning to meet the challenge of changing times.