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Some Students Think American University’s Multicultural Room Isn’t ‘Identity-Based’ Enough

"Everyone from all types of affinity groups can be there."

AUSamschoe / Wikimedia CommonsAmerican University maintains a "Hub for Organizing Multiculturalism and Equity"—HOME, for short—where students of all backgrounds "can just come and be," according to Fanta Aw, AU's vice president of campus life and inclusive excellence.

But for some activist students, HOME is a little too inclusive.

"HOME doesn't provide people with a sense of security, with a sense of belonging, when everyone from all types of affinity groups can be there," student Othniel Malcolm Andrew Harris told The Eagle.

Some students want the university to provide housing specifically for black students, evidently so that they can avoid living with people who don't look like them. These students are dissatisfied with American's approach, which has been to consolidate all diversity-related issues under a sole administrative office: the Center for Diversity and Inclusion. And the Center is apparently in no mood to placate them.

"One of the first things we have to recognize is that the University doesn't have any space for anything at the moment," Rafael Cestero, Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion for Student Government, told The Eagle. "Because we go to AU, if we give space to one minority group, every single other minority group is going to be marching outside of MGC," he added, speaking in unusually blunt terms for a campus diversity czar.

Bluntness aside, I think the administration is quite right to rebuff student demands for what are essentially segregated spaces. Universities should be consciously breaking down barriers between people, not erecting new ones. The goal should be to make the rest of the campus more like HOME.

Hat tip: The College Fix

Photo Credit: Samschoe / Wikimedia Commons

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  • ||

    I suspect that Cestero will be looking for work elsewhere shortly.

    CB

  • JoeJoetheIdiotCircusBoy||

    I thought the exact same thing when I read this!

  • RoyMo||

    Does American really want to face a situation where a white student has to be removed from a room by force solely because of their race? This will happen if they don't short circuit this now. I would not be surprised if this statement only occurred after a lawyer explained the parade of horribles that would ensue.

  • RoyMo||

    All it takes is a single conservative provocateur to make this happen, and if the university (or even just campus police) doesn't take the bait, the consequences of refusing to are possibly much worse than this for them.

  • JesseAz||

    Meh. White liberals already pretend to be non white.

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    Food for thought. When they study gender pay gaps, why do they only study two genders?

  • JesseAz||

    And why do the PhD professors not understand how to normalize statistics?

  • ||

    When they study gender pay gaps, why do they only study two genders?

    You say this like it matters. If men make more money, women are victims. If women make more money it will be because of their natural superiority. They already do this with sexuality. Gays and lesbians make 5-10% 'more' than everyone else and no one bats an eye or says a thing about equality. Sure, every drunken derelict hobo and crack whore is binned as either hetero or bi whether they actually are or not and the people doing the study wouldn't even breathe the words 'welfare mom' lest the Pandora's Box spring open and they not be allowed to gloat about how gays and lesbians make 'more' money.

  • Brandybuck||

    But trans-females earn more than cis-females!!! I just can't cope!

  • Tony||

    The data show that gays make less money that equally situated straights no matter what--married, single, crackwhore, whatever. It's a flat-out myth that they make more money that apparently came out of nowhere.

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    I haven't seen any real data either way. Anecdotally, I'd say they make more, but again, that's purely anecdotally as I live in a gay-friendly area chock-a-bloc with high-earning people. Do you have a link to a study (of real merit) which shows they make less?

  • Tony||

    First google hit

    The fact that some gays are good at gentrifying is probably where the myth comes from (keeping in mind that they're moving into poorer neighborhoods for a reason), but the unfortunate gays have much higher incidences of homelessness and associated problems too.

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    Thanks, however, I'm seeing the same mistakes they make in other gender pay gap data mining studies, there's no multi-variant analysis.

    Do gay people make different career and lifestyle choices than their straight counterparts? Without that data, this potentially has the same flaws the gender pay gap data-mining studies do.

  • ||

    Also, ignore the fact that his 'hit' is from 2012 and is likely not the top Google hit (unless searching for "myth gays make more money" and likely relies on data from even earlier decades where the binning problem was arguably working in the other direction.

  • JesseAz||

    Even wapo has stories of studies of lesbians making more than heterosexual women. Tony needs to be a victim some how though.

  • Longtobefree||

    Really? Asking Tony for a citation?
    You're not from around here, are you?

  • vek||

    I say data in the past that pretty definitively said gay men (don't recall about lesbians) made more money on average than straight men. It was something like 10-20% more too IIRC. That is just a top line figure, not delving into if they have equal education, race, professions, etc. But the stats seemed solid at the time, too lazy to google to confirm.

  • The Last American Hero||

    But their cost structure is lower due to lack of children. To each according to their need, right?

  • ||

    The data show that gays make less money that equally situated straights no matter what--married, single, crackwhore, whatever. It's a flat-out myth that they make more money that apparently came out of nowhere.

    First, you're wrong. I'm not aware of the Southern Economic Associations' political leanings but they aren't nowhere.

    Second, as I indicated, it doesn't matter because you can't ground the categorization rationally one way or the other (What does it matter if it's a choice or not, eh, fucker?). Lesbian women almost invariably make more than straight women. Lesbians aren't gay men, but when you lump them together, they make more than straight men and women together and all of them make more than bi and transgendered men and women. But, if you lump them all together, because LGBTQwhy not?, they make less than their straight peers.

  • Tony||

    It's not a contest.

  • Sevo||

    You lose anyhow.

  • Tony||

    "Anyhow"? What are you, Canadian?

  • Tony||

    It's hard to get around the fact that most universities (and workplaces) will simply reflect the society they're in. Most of these places will be majority white and straight (though depending on where you are, they are becoming decreasingly white).

    There is a place for "safe spaces" for minorities in life, but school and work can't function that way. Community centers, bars, clubs, friends' houses--I see value in these occasionally being casually segregated spaces. When you're a minority, it's nice to have a place to go where you're the majority. It shouldn't be that a white person can't go to a black bar, or a straight person can't go to a gay bar, but when they do, they will simply feel like minorities do all the time in normal life.

  • JesseAz||

    What a sad and pathetic life you must have.

  • Tony||

    Excuse the fuck out of me for agreeing with all of you idiots on something.

  • JesseAz||

    You literally .she the claim that being in a perceived minority group based on physical traits is draining and hard. As someone who has lived in foreign areas where I was a minority I didn't give a crap about it. Esteem was still in tact. Then again, I tend to treat people as individuals and not a summation of their physical attributes or gender or sexual identity. That's why you have a pathetic life.

  • Tony||

    I wonder if there's a single place on earth where being a white male is actually a situation of oppression. Trying to think... Oh yeah, Alabama and co., where they all vote according to that theory.

  • buybuydandavis||

    Pretty much anywhere whites are a minority.

    It's largely only white majority countries that aren't unapologetically ethnonationalist.

  • Leo Kovalensky II||

    Basketball courts?

  • Deconstructed Potato||

    Zimbabwe? Other than that I just wanted to say you basically made sense above and shows how the partisan bickering is mostly just noise.

  • Juice||

    a place to go where you're the majority

    So, an empty room?

  • StackOfCoins||

    +1 Rand's wry observation "the smallest minority is the individual".

  • Gaear Grimsrud||

    I actually completely agree with you Tony.

  • Ryan (formally HFTO)||

    "It shouldn't be that a white person can't go to a black bar, or a straight person can't go to a gay bar, but when they do, they will simply feel like minorities do all the time in normal life."

    I'll agree with you on this one Tony. It's interesting to go into gay bars or black bars or country bars and being the outlier. None of these places will give you crap for being an outlier, but I am worried this intersectionality nonsense will find it's way into the general public through the very people pushing safe spaces in colleges.

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    the Center for Diversity and Inclusion. And the Center is apparently in no mood to placate them.

    "One of the first things we have to recognize is that the University doesn't have any space for anything at the moment," Rafael Cestero, Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion for Student Government, told The Eagle. "Because we go to AU, if we give space to one minority group, every single other minority group is going to be marching outside of MGC," he added, speaking in unusually blunt terms for a campus diversity czar.

    Sounds like the diversity czar followed the purpose of his own office to its logical conclusion. Props to xer.

  • speedylee||

    I really wonder how this level of ignorance and selfishness will be outdone by someone tomorrow. But it is apparently inevitable.

  • Ryan (formally HFTO)||

    I think the full circle will be when minority women get called out for marrying white men. Imagine watching one black woman calling another black woman a white supremacist.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    Universities should be consciously breaking down barriers between people, not erecting new ones.

    Why do guys like Robby Soave incessantly bite at the ankles of strong, liberal-libertarian universities for periodic and ostensible missteps while providing an undeserved pass to conservative-controlled schools that impose old-timey conduct codes, prohibit dissent, collect loyalty oaths, disdain science to flatter superstition, reject academic freedom for students and faculty, enforce authoritarian speech codes, and teach childish fucking nonsense on a par with 'the moon is made of green cheese' every day of every year?

    Because they're conservatives, not libertarians.

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    Because we're "Jesus smuggling". Part of the libertopia vision is a theocratic state. Bob Jones University is the model.

  • Eddy||

    From where the Rev's head is, Robby Soave looks like a conservative.

    And the Rev never troubles to defend the policies and policy proposals getting criticized in these articles. Would you be interested in defending *any* of these policies on their own merits?

  • colorblindkid||

    Because the former outnumber the latter by like 100-1, and the most insane lefty shenanigans are at the elite colleges where all of our politicians and judges come from.

  • JesseAz||

    You mean same proud liberal schools using title IX to expel black students at the request of white females?

  • Bender B. Rodriguez||

    Aren't you bored with this sock puppet schtick you've created? Because you bore the shit out of me. Your heart clearly isn't in it, so do us a favor and put this one to rest and save us your copy/paste faux cosmo routine.

  • Alcibiades||

    Sure, it's tempting to mock and deride this lunatic, fun too, but it's possible, likely even, we're all he has in this world. So in true libertarian fashion and in the spirit of inclusiveness let's allow the moron this "virtual sandpit" to potter around in.

  • Eddy||

    So when the education bubble bursts, and they have to make budget cuts, who will be let go first...the untenured professors, or the "vice president of campus life and inclusive excellence?"

  • JesseAz||

    Now that victim studies classes are part of gen ed, first to go is math above entry exam level and engineering courses.

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    Engineering brings in too much funding to be killed. At least in any university with relatively robust Engineering and Science departments.

  • RoyMo||

    Math departments are extremely cheap, they require no special equipment and math professors are insensitive to compensation, since people capable of being math professors who care about money would never be math professors. Also math departments are necessary for the cash cows of engineering and business. This comes out of geology, astronomy, and other sciences that require expensive equipment and bring in minimal returns.

  • Alcibiades||

    All a math department needs is some paper, a few pencils and some wastebaskets.

    All a philosophy department needs is some paper and a few pencils.

  • JesseAz||

    Who needs pencils for math?

  • CLM1227||

    Blasphemer.

    Every good mathematician knows you do math with a pencil.

    Or dry erase board and markers... I may or may not have gone this route.

  • BadLib||

    They need LOTS of wastebaskets -- possibly entire dumpsters!

  • Jerryskids||

    "Because we go to AU, if we give space to one minority group, every single other minority group is going to be marching outside of MGC," he added, speaking in unusually blunt terms for a campus diversity czar.

    The smallest minority on the Earth is the individual. If you're required to provide a safe space for every minority group that demands it, I'd suggest an 8x10 space with padded walls and a door that locks from the outside.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    HOME doesn't provide people with a sense of security, with a sense of belonging, when everyone from all types of affinity groups can be there...

    I said the same thing about the United Nations.

  • Get To Da Chippah||

    Apparently there's nothing quite like exclusionary practices ("You can't live in this dorm because you're a different race!") to give one 'a sense of belonging'.

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    I won't rest until we once again have blacks-only drinking fountains.

  • Bowerick Wowbagger||

    How do these idiots not see this is essentially the logical end game of their obnoxious complaints?

  • JesseAz||

    To think people say the kkk left the democratic party. They just found a new venue to push jim crow.

  • Social Justice is neither||

    It's hard to see where you're going with your head that far up your own ass.

  • ||

    To be truly inclusive, they would have to issue multiple races to use those drinking fountains so that the blacks feel included and it sounds like they don't have the parking for that.

  • RoyMo||

    But in the old days chinamen and gypsies could also use those water fountains, maybe now they will just be for the right colored people.

  • perlchpr||

    They can shorten it by labeling the fountains "Colored", jut like the old days.

  • Uncle Jay||

    Not "identity enough?"
    Don't these students have ID cards?

  • esteve7||

    'Equity' is a marxist dog-whistle and should be laughed out wherever it is encountered.

  • Rich||

    where students of all backgrounds "can just come and be,"

    whatever TF *that* means.

    Like hanging out on the quad?

  • Eddy||

    So I said to the hot-dog vendor, "make me one with everything, dude."

  • TrickyVic (old school)||

    I think it's funny when people that support democracy, claim to support minorities.

    In a true democracy, the minority loses.

  • esteve7||

    not if all the minorities band together and don't defect, duh!

  • Brandybuck||

    What is it with the modern Leftists that they want a return to Separate but Equal?

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    It makes it easier to sort.

  • Vernon Depner||

    Black radical leftists have always wanted that.

  • buybuydandavis||

    Divide and conquer

  • OpenBordersLiberal-tarian||

    Bluntness aside, I think the administration is quite right to rebuff student demands for what are essentially segregated spaces.

    I disagree. Segregation in the Jim Crow sense is obviously unacceptable. But within a diverse environment, marginalized groups occasionally need a safe space where they can avoid their oppressors for at least a little while. So for example, black and brown students should have the option of living in an all-black-or-brown building. This is especially necessary now since people of color are in such a precarious position with a literal white supremacist as President.

  • Jerryskids||

    The saddest thing about this is that since oppressed minorities have no power to demand any respite from their oppression it's up to us woke cis-hetero white males to demand they be put somewhere where us cis-hetero white males can't see them, hear them, speak to them or interact with them in any way. It's 2018, folks! How hard is it to get people to see that putting oppressed minorities in their own little boxes (or closets or kitchens as the case may be) is the least we can do to achieve some sort of social justice?

  • buybuydandavis||

    Wakanda Forever!

  • JesseAz||

    This isn't even parody. This was cut and paste from Vox.

  • Quo Usque Tandem||

    I believe you are right

  • perlchpr||

    You certainly wouldn't want your diversity to be too diverse, now.

  • BYODB||


    Bluntness aside, I think the administration is quite right to rebuff student demands for what are essentially segregated spaces.


    It's the inevitable end point of identically politics, and yes the irony is absolutely lost on them.

  • Quo Usque Tandem||

    Next stop, the Poe Horizon, where they become a parody of themselves.

    Notice how you honestly cannot tell the difference from, say, a CNN headline and The Onion any more?

  • Agammamon||

    Somebody should tell them that if they want housing for only-black students that that already exists - its called renting an apartment.

  • Sevo||

    "Some students want the university to provide housing specifically for black students, evidently so that they can avoid living with people who don't look like them."

    Damned Republicans.

  • Jerry B.||

    Or the black students could go across town to Howard University, an HBCU.

  • Ecoli||

    George Wallace addressed this very topic decades ago: "Segregation today, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever!"

  • Longtobefree||

    Right. Worked out real well in Arkansas too.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Little_Rock_Nine

  • buybuydandavis||

    Wakanda forever!

  • Liberty Lover||

    Quote "Some students want the university to provide housing specifically for black students, evidently so that they can avoid living with people who don't look like them"
    What happened to their demand for integration?

    Quote: "American University maintains a "Hub for Organizing Multiculturalism and Equity"
    When you want super equality, equality just won't do!

  • Rob Misek||

    Full circle. The farther one leans the more vertical is perceived to lean in the opposite direction.

    Multiculturalism doesn't work because it is the differences that people emulate that divide.

    Religion, ideology, is a large part of culture. Who is recognizing multireligionism?

    When we naively look at issues with rose coloured glasses, we reach ineffective conclusions.

  • Quo Usque Tandem||

    "Some students want the university to provide housing specifically for black students, evidently so that they can avoid living with people who don't look like them."

    What's old is new again.

  • Deconstructed Potato||

    Here because I'm not sure I parsed the title of the article correctly, and I can't be bothered to read it and find out.

  • vek||

    All just part of the anti white jihad... I give it another couple years before full on, open, unabashed white identity politics becomes the IT thing. It has too in a world like this, or else white people will just be shit on endlessly. Majority populations usually don't allow themselves to be shit on by asshole minority populations if they can help it... And since whites have most of the wealth and power, I suspect this type of thing won't last much longer in America or Europe. It's too insane to go on.

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