Student Leaders Petition University to Evict ‘Wealthy and White’ Attendees, Give Their Houses to LGBT and Others – Opinion

Campus culture is constantly changing.

In August of 2020, I offered “NYU Student Group Petitions for Black-Only Housing So They ‘Can Feel Included.’”

For an idea of the societal distance we’ve since traveled, take a look at St. Louis’s Washington University.

An influential group of attendees has posted an article in Student Life, an independent school newspaper. They are eager to bring housing balance to the next level.

Ranen Miao — president of WU’s student body — lays out the feelings of nearly 50 co-signed enrolees.

Per the piece, nine houses on campus are occupied by “fraternity men, who are disproportionately wealthy and white.”

Meanwhile, “Marginalized communities have little to no space to build community.”

Therefore, the bunch is “calling on WashU to terminate their housing contracts with fraternities and designate current fraternity houses as affinity houses instead.”

The “affinity” concept has really caught on as of late.

Last year at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville students were taught according to their skin colour.

My coverage from that time:

[T]raining will enlighten light-colored learners on “how to recognize whiteness and white privilege, identify and interrupt internalized dominance, and collectively develop strategies for liberation and change.” …
On the other side of the segregating aisle are “BIMPoC (Black, Indigenous, Multiracial People of Color) Affinity Groups.” …

While the white group will shoulder responsibility for being oppressive, BIMPoC folks will gather for support from those with any skin that isn’t [peach].

Take a look at Western Washington University, there’s “Black Affinity Housing,” described thusly on the official webpage:

Black Affinity Housing residents…pride themselves on fostering a sense of belonging for all residents by creating a safe environment for open, honest, and sometimes challenging dialogue. Interactions and programmatic events allow students to gain a deeper understanding of their peers and the wider world through meaningful interactions and programs.

Can nonwhite identity groups at Missouri’s Washington University get their hands on some of that safety?

The op-ed argues they should — fraternities mean “alcoholism, hazing and sexual assault.”

Fraternity homes allow for toxic masculinity, rape culture, and violence by giving a select group of men access to the residential area for their members in a central location at campus.

The essay insists those goons have “done nothing to earn the space they occupy.”


[W]hen fraternity houses were first built and given to fraternities, WashU had still not yet admitted Black students in all its programs, fraternities nationwide enforced rigid exclusion of racial minorities, and “Aryan clauses” in fraternity constitutions barred Jewish (and other non-Christian, nonwhite) students from joining. The University failed to show that fraternities were more worthy of housing than any other 400 on campus.

The continuation of such a scourge, the piece poses, “only sends the message that the university accepts and endorses unequal treatment of its students, giving special favor to disproportionately white, wealthy and straight men.”

Consider a contrast:

[A]Ffinity housing is a great option for students from marginalized backgrounds. … Establishing these houses means that we can create spaces where LGBTQIA+ students won’t have to worry about homophobic or transphobic roommates; where students of color can connect with our cultural and historical backgrounds, at an institution that is predominantly white; and where religious students can explore their faith, pray and live together. These spaces help students feel more welcome on their campuses…and offer a strong residential support system to lean on and speak with when encountering racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, antisemitism or discrimination on campus.

The four-dozen-plus crew is “calling for Washington University to terminate their housing contracts with IFC fraternities, and publicly commit to reallocating fraternity houses as affinity space for Black, Latinx, Asian, Indigenous, MENA (Middle Eastern and North African), low-income, international, LGBTQIA+, female, Muslim, Jewish and differently-abled students.”

That’s certainly one way to look at it.

One alternative is to say that skin is arbitrarily constructed and therefore it wouldn’t be appropriate to group people according to such criteria.

Also a potential position: Having a hue in common doesn’t constitute “community.”

Another alternate view: Possession of a minority trait doesn’t automatically mean someone’s been “marginalized.” It may merely indicate that trait is marginal.

A third possibility could be to expel someone because of their race.

However, these are just statistically plausible perspectives.

Back to the real world, consideration of a Caucasian kick-out isn’t limited to St. Louis:

The following are a few of the signatories on board with WashU’s frat house ejection:

  • President of WashU’s Women & Non-Binary Multi-Cultural Association
  • President of Association of Black Students
  • President of Association of Latin American Students
  • Latinxpresión Directors
  • President of the Black Men’s Coalition
  • President, Middle Eastern and North African Association
  • President, Jewish Students Association
  • Facilitator of Transcending Gendered
  • President of MeToo WashingtonU

No matter whether our American journey soon takes us to a fraternity-free Washington University, as we continue forward, there’s a signpost up ahead.

How does it work?It is not say?




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