by ALEX PEREZ//Feature Editor
New segregated housing on the campus of California State University Los Angeles is starting to create controversy throughout the nation.
CSLA has announced that they will be offering a new segregated residential complex to black students to ensure a “safe place” for them to congregate.
Nine months ago, the CSLA’s Black Student Union sent in a list of demands to University administrators asking for segregated housing, a “$30 million endowment to support black students financially,” “cultural competency training,” and “ethnic studies courses” for first and second-year students. They argue that the segregated housing will be cheaper for black students and will create a safe place for them to communicate and learn from other black students, as well as a place to bond culturally.
But will this actually create a stronger cultural bond between black students, or will it farther drive the wedge between whites and blacks once again? The answer is unknown at this point, but some might say that the fact that they are segregating themselves from other students is doing more harm than good.
By having segregated housing, they are, in a sense, creating a barrier between whites and blacks. They are committing racist acts by not allowing any other race into these selected residential complexes. In order to create a culturally well-rounded college or university, there has to be some kind of interaction between a diverse student population outside of the classroom. With groups such as the Black Student Union, it makes it possible to have the cultural bond for blacks. But fully segregated housing takes the matter too far.
One could also ask if in fact the black student body is presented with their own housing and other demands are met, then students of other races, such as Latinos, should be able to do the same. CSLA administrators should have stopped and realized what they were doing and be aware of the impact the new housing will have on the student body as a whole. Students of other races may feel like they are being discriminated against, or heir interests are not being taken into consideration when it comes to discriminatory acts from students or faculty members.
A CSLA spokesman, Robert Lopez, says that the focus of the housing will be “academic excellence and learning experiences that are inclusive and non-discriminatory.” It’s a little misguiding saying that the segregated housing will be “inclusive” when there will only be a certain group of people able to live in the new housing.
Civil rights are a very important matter, and every academic institution should stand for all-inclusive academic excellence without having problems with discriminatory comments or actions, in and out of the classroom. The fact that black students feel as if they are the targets of such hatred and that they need their own space to feel safe is unjust and saddening to hear. As a free nation, our citizens, no matter what color they are, should be able to go get a college education without the struggles of being a particular race.
The discrimination and mircoaggressions throughout the universities in the United States are incredibly high and unjust. Our civil rights are real, and we need to once again become aware of this. In the midst of the “Black Lives Matter” protest and the civil rights activists working together, the black community is being targeted with racial hatred. But segregating themselves from the world is not the answer. Segregated housing is only a step backward in history. The key to change is awareness and culturally diverse exposure.