Black-only housing options are a growing trend on college campuses. Despite their increasing popularity, however, segregated residence halls are not good for America at this time.
On Nov. 22, 2015, the Black Student Union at California State University, Los Angeles wrote a letter to the university’s president, William A. Covino, expressing feelings of victimization on campus. Representatives from the student union mentioned feeling racially discriminated against as a result of comments from students and faculty members, according to the Afrikan Black Coalition.
Racial prejudice has been cited as a problem on Cal State LA’s campus in the past.
In January, a sociology professor at Cal State LA outwardly protested an event held by the university’s branch of Young Americans for Freedom, according to The Daily Caller. The event was set to feature conservative author Ben Shapiro and his thoughts on the topic “When Diversity Becomes a Problem.”
The letter from the Black Student Union cited similar examples of racism, and included a list of demands to be met in the following year.
In response, Cal State LA added the Halisi Scholars Black Living-Learning Community to its list of housing service options for the 2016-2017 school year. The community “focuses on academic excellence and learning experiences that are inclusive and non-discriminatory,” wrote Cal State LA spokesperson Robert Lopez in an email.
In other words, the option of living in a segregated dormitory is supposed to fix race relations on campus. Something about this plan seems off.
The university is receiving a great deal of criticism for its decision, according to KCBS. Reporters from the station spoke to Cal State LA students specifically off camera who expressed concerns with the introduction of the program.
Cal State LA defended the new program, saying students of all races are allowed to live in the Halisi community. Non-black students must agree to “respect the differences of others that live in my community and look for positive thing to learn from them” and “be an advocate for change if the tools and resources available are deemed inadequate.”
Something about the idea of promoting a dorm as more prominently one race than the other seems to set Americans back in time.
The famous U.S. Supreme Court case Brown v. Board of Education put an end to racially segregated schools in 1954. Returning to segregation in any way is not a smart move for a country that has made progress since that case.
Other schools following the potentially dangerous trend include University of Connecticut, UC Berkeley and UC Davis, according to The College Fix.
Segregation in schools, whether overall or in housing options, is not the way to mend race relations. Coexistence is a more effective and progressive solution to the problem at hand.