Nicole Bettis-2

How many of us remember a time when our only concerns were who could jump the highest or run the fastest? When going to bed was a punishment and getting up wasn’t a chore? My grandma calls them “the good ol’ days”. I call them, the days when things were simple—a time when all my prized possessions it into my “cubbie hole”. Remember cubbie holes? Those cute little 5×4 bins with the shoebox size sections inside where you and all you classmates put your hats and gloves after recess.

Well, up until a few months ago, I thought those days were long gone. (I mean, I have been out of elementary school for quite some time now.) When I went to purchase my books at the BCCC Liberty Campus bookstore, however, I saw the biggest “cubbie hole” ever! Before I could even set foot in the store, I was asked to place my book bag, purse, and any other bag I had inside the bin. When I asked the attendant what the purpose was, he simply replied, “You gotta put your bags here while you shop. Too many people steal….” I was shocked. This was the second campus I had been to where I was forced to surrender my belongings in order to buy my books.

It took me a second to wrap my mind around this. From what I understood, the students at BCCC were trusted enough to spend their money (F-aid for the lucky ones) in the bookstore, but not trusted enough to carry their own belongings inside with them; instead, they were expected to leave them in the care of a stranger (who was, by the way, another BCCC student).

After careful consideration I politely declined (just as I do when asked to “check” my bags at local malls before shopping). Who knew that something as innocent as a “cubbie hole” could be turned into a tool to degrade people? Too many students and customers simply “go with the flow” and allow these companies, corporations and schools to exploit them because of the area in which they live, or worse still, because of the color of their skin.

Don’t think so? Well, BCCC’s African American student population is 81% and cubbie holes are used. Towson’s African American student population is 8% and cubbies holes are not used. CSU’s African American student population is 91% and cubbies holes are used, while JHU’s African American student population is 3.8% and, you guessed it, NO cubbie holes. Notice anything?

Wake up people! Stop helping people furtively oppress you. If enough people complain and refuse to buy from these business, either the cubbie holes or the business itself will disappear, not our dignity….

Dedicated to Prof. Flowers:

“Thank you for challenging your students to think and form opinions, instead of asking us to simply regurgitate presented information. You are an inspiration. May youcontinue to make a difference in the lives of your students.

Feel free to e-mail Nikki at with any comments or questions.


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