University of Connecticut Touts Merits Of Racially Segregated Dorms

The university administration doesn’t seem to realize that separating African-American students from others might fuel racism and victimization on campus.

The days of racial segregation aren’t completely over in the United States.

The University of Connecticut has come under fire for proposing separate living space for black students. The soon-to-be-built dormitory, titled ScHOLA²RS House, is being regarded as a learning community that will be limited to 40 or more “self-identifying black men.”

As racist as the entire situation sounds, the school claims that the idea behind this segregation is to help the African Americans, as the administration believes that black students will graduate at a higher rate if they spend more time with others like themselves.

“Uconn ScHOLA²RS House is a scholastic initiative to groom, nurture, and train the next generation of leaders to address grand challenges in society through the promotion of academic success in undergraduate programs at the University of Connecticut and in competitive graduate programs,” the university website states.

The idea behind this project, according to the university, is to offer African American men a space where they can come together and have conversations with individuals who belong to the same background and share same experiences — an ideology that doesn’t racist at all, right?

“African American males graduate at a lower rate than their peers,” explained Dr. Erik Hines, an assistant professor of educational psychology at UConn. “So the University of Connecticut was forward-thinking in bringing a solution to this issue.”

The educator, who will serve as a faculty advisor in the new residence hall, pointed to statistics from 2012 that show the graduation rate for African American males was only 54 percent  compared to the university’s overall result of 82.5 percent.

“We know it's not an issue of whether African-American males have the capability to excel in school; rather, it is their environment that sometimes inhibits their potential,” said UConn spokesperson Stephanie Reitz, seeking to “clarify some misinformation and misunderstandings” about the program. “At many predominantly white institutions nationwide, elements of African-American culture are harder to find, which can make some students experience a sense of detachment from their universities.”

She further said the new community is “supported by a substantial amount of research and scholarship.”

Meanwhile, as expected, the new living arrangement seems to have offended many people who took to the Internet to express their opinion.





While race or gender-specific communities and programs in U.S. colleges is not a new thing, separating students based on their skin color to (hypothetically) improve their learning potential does not seem like a good idea, at all.

Banner / Thumbnail : Reuters

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