Critics: UConn to Create Black-Only Housing (Updated)

University_of_Connecticut_Seal.svgThe University of Connecticut is under fire this week after a report that it would create a living space segregated by race. The school is concerned about the lower graduation rate for black students. So it has arranged for black-only housing to try to maintain a more supportive environment. Others call is segregation and a return to pre-Brown v. Board of Education values. The university has insisted that it is not a separate dorm and that the reports have been overblown, as discussed on Snopes.

I have long warned about a trend toward segregated schools and classes based on race, gender, and sexual orientation. While advancing laudable goals, the means of the ScHOLA²RS House (“Scholastic House of Leaders who are African American Researchers and Scholars”) is troubling. While few would argue with special programs to help any struggling student, the creation of race-specific zones or housing is a substantial retreat from conceptions of race-blind institutions.

Reis2015Vice Provost Sally Reis rejected such arguments and insists that “It’s no more segregated than putting individuals with an interest in entrepreneurship together because they have common interests.” Most people would see a considerable difference between having a dorm for business students and a dorm for black students. One is based on an immutable trait that has long polarized the nation and produced gross inequalities. The other is an intellectual interest that is shared across gender, racial or other demographic lines.

Erik-Hines-headshot-web-150x150Yet, Erik Hines, a UConn professor who will serve as faculty advisor to the ScHOLA²RS House students, said that UConn may plunge even further into such segregated housing: “We have all types of learning communities. If they bring forth a proposal to our Office of Programs and Learning Communities they will be considered by our executive director.”

The university insists that it is not creating separate housing:

ScHOLA²RS House is a Learning Community designed to support the scholastic efforts of male students who identify as African American/Black through academic and social/emotional support, access to research opportunities, and professional development. The intent of this Learning Community is to increase the retention and persistence of students using educational and social experiences to enhance their academic success at UConn and beyond in graduate and professional school placement. ScHOLA²RS House will encourage involvement with the larger university community to foster peer and mentor relationships and will actively engage students in inclusion efforts at UConn.

It has specifically responded to media reports through Dr. Erik Hines:


Twelve students already have contacted us with interest in living in Scholars House. Participation is, of course, entirely voluntary and its programming will be open to all in the University community, not only black male students.

This living community will also be located in the new Next Gen Hall when it opens this fall, so Scholars House students will live among 700-plus other students from all backgrounds while at the same time having access to specialized educational and social experiences to encourage success in their college careers.

To correct misinformation that some have unwittingly spread, this learning community will not be separate, nor is the building only going to house this group of students. Rather, this will be one of several learning communities whose residents live in Next Gen Hall, along with other students who aren’t in learning communities.



Source: Fox

109 thoughts on “Critics: UConn to Create Black-Only Housing (Updated)”

  1. Olly,

    “So race, religion, sexual profiling is acceptable as long it’s being done for a good cause? Who gets to decide what is good?”

    Let me give that answer a shot.

    Free People

    Free Enterprise

    Free Markets

    Free Choice

    Completely bereft of any Interference By Government, Socialists, Theocrats, Communists, Collectivists, Progressives, Liberals, Democrats, Dictators, Monarchs, Tyrants or any other form of Obsessive/Compulsive, Omniscient, Omnipotent Self-Deluding Mysticism.

  2. It appears that segregation is the next logical step to the trendy emphasis on race, gender, sexual preference, disability, and illegal foreigners. How else are they going to get their ‘safe space’? It looks like their ‘safe space’ might even become their very ‘special place’.

  3. Black racism should not be underestimated in U of C’s proposal. Separate-but-equal may be the most viable policy for the future given that racial equality and integration have failed. I realize this is a racist policy but it may be the place where black racism meets white racism and both face reality.

  4. Why do Frats have Greek names? Why would some midwestern guy or gal join some dumb group with a Greek name like Alpha Delta Epsilon? There was one such Frat at Knox College in days past. None of them spoke Greek. They came from all over and even had black members. Then the radical black movement came up and denigrated members of ADE for being black and not proud. Or some such. Or some suck. All I can say now, in retrospect: In days of old when Knights were bold and rubbers weren’t invented. They tied a sock around the cock and babies were prevented.

    UCONN is one of those places which puts sports at the top of the line. Frig em.

  5. Paul C. Schulte — Here in Washington state, with a Pacific Ocean outlook, Asian and Asianamerican is essentially the same culture as “white” upper middle class. Not so for the three minorities. None have a culture of study and scholarship. (Some Afroamericans do; our late president, Elson Floyd, the best in my 45 years here, certainly did.)

    In particular, the treatment of Native Americans has been dreadful. I am only pleased that finally, after many decades, there are a handful here at Washington State University.

    Being born and raised in the West, I have encountered many Native Americans. There has been not a one that I didn’t like, care for. But I am just as glad I never had one in class; no scholarship in those young people before I retired.

    I suppose the same for the other two minorities.

  6. Did I say you are a Republican? No. Merely that you and people who share your beliefs have brought this nation to to a point where we face the prospects of a Hillary Clinton as president.

    The choice of clowns on offer from the circus that is the Republican makes it extremely likely.

    Frankly, anyone who believes in a doctrine of limited Executive authority should be in favor of Bernie Sanders. Congress would be compelled to assert more authority.

    1. Monty Z, I certainly like Sanders’ domestic platform more than Her Highness’s, but do you really believe Sanders could cut himself out of the puppeteer’s strings of the Democratic Party? I don’t. And he’s briefly justified and has been eerily silent otherwise on mowing the lawn in Gaza two summers ago. To me, that means more colonialism and regime change as foreign policy. He won’t get anything done in his term unless the party forces him to compromise right of center just like Hope and Change himself has done.

      So, for me it comes down to principle. If it takes another four years of increasing income disparity, and empire-building and slaughter for the American public to truly wake TFU and understand we need more than just two major parties scratching one another’s back, then so be it. I’m voting for Jill Stein, whose platform is the one Bernie dreams of but can’t mention.

  7. I’m not a Republican, and the remainder of your diatribe was equally erroneous.
    I can see you’ve got all the usual Democrat talking points down pat, so gold star for you.

  8. Fleming: Typical. Textbook Republican strategy: Destroy the economy, then blame Democratic successors for the fallout. Obstruct recovery as much as possible, then take credit for palliative measures when progressive policies have worked.

    See those spikes in food stamps starting in 2007. You blame Obama for that?

    Counties that haven’t recovered from an economic crisis that was a depression in all but name. Obama’s fault? Or an obstructionist Republican party.

    You and your ilk are disingenuous beyond belief. We can see how you appeal to the small-minded and impotent cheerleaders who share your bias. Their ignorance is forgivable. Yours is another question.

    And thanks to your kind, Hillary Clinton will be the next president

  9. The “new dorm” and the “learning community” are two separate things. The former was not built “for” and would exist without, the latter. They formed a learning community (primarily) for black males and chose a floor of this new dorm to locate it. They could just as easily located it in an existing dorm, probably but for lack of space.

    I think there are arguments to be made for and against the idea of housing together students who share a “learning community” when that community is (primarily) based on race. But after reading all the quotes from UConn officials, I think “university creates black-only housing” is misleading at best, and inflammatory at worst.

    For what it’s worth, I find the arguments against housing primarily-race-oriented “learning communities” together to be more persuasive. There is enough “othering” in our national dialogue as it is, and having a dorm floor of (primarily) Latinos or African Americans just invites more of it.

    1. KCFleming – did you read the full article at Snopes? If what they are proposing is correct, it is interesting. Although, pitching to one race might make it racist.

  10. Here, for a long time, has been Honors College based on Honors Hall; invitation only. A few decades ago the university acquired 3 lovely old houses to establish centers for Latinos, Afro-American and Native American students.

    Seems to be a good idea for these special need groups.

    1. David B Benson – what ‘special needs’ would those students have that an Asian student or a white student not have?

    1. Nick – Rachel would qualify to apply. It is open to anyone, but their primary focus is African-Americans.

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