Poll Shows Brown University Students Turn a Cold Shoulder to Report on the Institution’s Involvement With the Slave Trade

A poll conducted by the Brown Daily Herald found that nearly 45 percent of the students at Brown University had not heard about or were not interested in the report of the University Steering Committee on Slavery and Justice. Only 18 percent of Brown students said that they had read or planned to read the entire report.

The report found that slaves had helped construct buildings on campus and that the Brown family, who provided much of the money for the establishment of the university, was involved in the slave trade. The report also made recommendations on how the university should make amends for its involvement in the slave trade.

The poll also asked students how they felt about some of the recommendations for making amends. Nearly 60 percent of Brown students supported the establishment of a center for the study of slavery on campus. But less than half of all Brown students supported the erection of a memorial to slaves on campus. Only 44 percent supported efforts to increase enrollments of black students from Africa and Caribbean nations.