Student Group Offers Whites-Only Award

  1. Did anyone see this article over the weekend on Yahoo?

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    BRISTOL, R.I. - A student group at Roger Williams University is offering a new scholarship for which only white students are eligible, a move they say is designed to protest affirmative action.

    The application for the $250 award requires an essay on "why you are proud of your white heritage" and a recent picture to "confirm whiteness."

    "Evidence of bleaching will disqualify applicants," says the application, issued by the university's College Republicans.

    Jason Mattera, 20, who is president of the College Republicans, said the group is parodying minority scholarships.

    "We think that if you want to treat someone according to character and how well they achieve academically, then skin color shouldn't really be an option," he said. "Many people think that coming from a white background you're automatically privileged, you're automatically rich and your parents pay full tuition. That's just not the case."

    The stunt has angered some at the university, but the administration is staying out of the fray. The school's provost said it is a student group's initiative and is not endorsed by Roger Williams.

    Mattera, who is of Puerto Rican descent, is himself a recipient of a $5,000 scholarship open only to a minority group.

    "No matter what my ethnicity is, I'm making a statement that scholarships should be given out based on merit and need," Mattera told the Providence Journal.

    His group took out a full-page ad in last week's issue of the university's student newspaper to tout the scholarship, which was for $50 until two donors came forward to add $100 each during the weekend, Mattera said.

    It's not the first brush with controversy for the group. The school temporarily froze the Republicans' money in the fall during a fight over a series of articles published in its monthly newsletter. One article alleged that a gay-rights group indoctrinates students into homosexual sex.

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    My opinion: I think this was done fairly tongue-in-cheek/satirical (come on, a $50 scholarship?) and to try to make a point by parodying minority scholarships. It does seem fairly hypocritical, though, that the guy behind all this is himself the recipient of a minority scholarship. I think it hurts his cause that he seems to be biting the hand that feeds him.

    What are your thoughts?
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  2. 91 Comments

  3. by   Marie_LPN, RN
    There shouldn't be ANY sort of awards or scholarships based on race or ethnic background. The BEST QUALIFIED should be the receipient, be they white, black, green, or purple.

    I'll get the flaming from heck for this one but if there were something called "The United Caucasian College Fund", all hell would be raised, and it would be blasted for being 'racist'.
  4. by   Spidey's mom
    Marie - no flaming here. What is free speech for some should be free speech for all.




    Campus censors in retreat
    John Leo (archive)


    February 8, 2004 | Print | Send


    An actual debate on the merits of racial preferences has taken place on an American campus, Utah State University. Whether the Guinness World Records book is interested in this news is not certain. I know I am. Astonishingly, the university administration did not step in to halt the proceedings on the grounds that feelings might be hurt. The debate was civil, with some booing and cheering on both sides. Some students seemed a bit testy or angry. But as one student sponsor of the debate said, "that’s part of politics and discussing divisive issues." This breakthrough raises a startling question: is it possible that other universities will begin experimenting with free speech?

    Could be. The fog of censorship on campus is beginning to lift, thanks to the pressure of litigation, bad publicity and ridicule from a new and more pugnacious generation of collegians. The litigation is being handled by groups such as the Center for Individual Rights, the Alliance Defense Fund, and -- most spectacularly -- by the Philadelphia-based Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE), which is now a major player in the campus wars. These groups have been winning free-speech cases one after another, creating momentum that is forcing many censorship-minded administrators into a defensive crouch.

    For most of the 1990s, speech restrictions met little resistance. After the courts struck down campus speech codes, universities simply (and dishonestly) recast the speech codes as behavior and anti-harassment policies, using extremely broad language to forbid expression that annoys, embarrasses or ridicules. The language made almost every accused student guilty as charged. The mainstream press ignored the issue and students generally held their tongues, fearing retaliation. Now the students know how to call FIRE, and FIRE knows how to call Fox News. "The difference is that students now know they can win," said Thor Halvorssen, who recently stepped down as the chief executive officer of FIRE. Sometimes the victories are astonishingly easy. When FIRE sued Citrus College in California, the college quickly yielded, lifting its policy banning all "offensive . . . expression or language" and eliminating its policy of confining student protest to three small areas on campus.

    The Center for Individual Rights is working out a settlement in the case of a white student punished for "disruption" after quietly posting a flier at the multicultural center of California Polytechnic State University. There was no disruption. The black students who complained simply didn’t like the flier, which promoted a speech by a black conservative author. Cal Poly’s action seemed clearly unconstitutional, but typical of what many colleges got away with when nobody was watching. Terry Pell of CIR says his friends, left and right, are appalled when they hear about the Cal Poly case. CIR’s attorney in the case, Carol Sobel, frequently works for the ACLU. And Pell says that judges of all political persuasions are appalled when CIR brings them cases like this too.

    Another factor in the new atmosphere is that conservative students are now a bigger presence on campus. A Harvard poll in the fall found that 61 percent of U.S. college students supported President Bush, at a time when only 53 percent of all Americans supported him. Last fall, in the annual UCLA survey of college freshmen, 21 percent of students identified themselves as conservative, compared with 24 percent who said they were liberal -- down from a peak of 38 percent liberal in 1971.

    Many conservative students favor satire and ridicule as campus weapons. The best example is the bake sales on more than a dozen campuses mocking affirmative action in college admissions by selling cookies at $1 to white males and 50 cents for Latino or black males. Many of these sales were shut down by campus administrators, thus demonstrating how dumb and repressive college officials can be. (Similar "wage gap" cookie sales by feminists ran into no such trouble.) At Northwestern, the administrator who halted the sale said, "This is not a bake sale, and your permit is only for a bake sale!" At the University of Washington, the administration said the cookie-sellers had failed to apply for a food permit and that the administration did not in fact shut them down. FIRE produced official university documents contradicting both arguments. Watch for more bake sales and more anticensorship stunts. Repressive speech policies are under heavy pressure and starting to break down.
    ************************************************

    So, it is ok for feminists to use the cookie idea for the wage gap but no one else?

    steph
  5. by   Spidey's mom
    I wonder what would have happened in the 60's if students weren't allowed to speak their mind about Vietnam or materialism or any of the other myriad things they protested?




    A kick where it’s needed
    John Leo (archive)


    February 16, 2004 | Print | Send


    When is the word “diversity” not tolerated on campus? When someone tries to put the word “intellectual” in front of it. The debate over David Horowitz’s campaign for intellectual diversity has been raging in Colorado for five months. By spring or fall, the debate may come to an intellectually not-very-diverse university near you. Horowitz, the veteran conservative activist, is promoting an “Academic Bill of Rights” to protect students and professors from the aggressive leftist mono-culture that dominates campuses today. Though clearly taking aim at the left, Horowitz scrupulously framed the bill in language that would protect everyone on campus, left and right. The text says, “All faculty should be hired, fired, promoted and granted tenure on the basis of their competence and appropriate knowledge in the field of their expertise,” never on the basis of political or religious beliefs. Stanley Fish, one the best-known professors on the left, says that it’s hard to see how anyone who believes in the distinctiveness of academic work “could find anything to disagree with here.”


    The fairness of the language hasn’t done much to mollify the left, partly because Horowitz unleashed a barrage of statistics to show how lopsided liberal universities are in hiring professors, picking outside speakers, and granting honorary degrees. He says there are 10 Democratic professors for every Republican one, with the disparity rising sharply at many elite universities.

    Students themselves now check the political affiliations of professors and complain about indoctrination that passes for teaching. (Check out www.noindoctrination.org for detailed student reports of unbelievable professorial drivel.) Members of the Republican Club at Wells College, an all-female institution in upstate New York, reported that 92 percent of their professors in the humanities and social sciences were registered either as Democrats or with splinter parties of the left. (A month later, the women’s application to be recognized as a campus club was rejected.) Last week conservative students at Duke announced that the university’s eight humanities departments contain 142 registered Democrats and only eight registered Republicans. The Duke Conservative Union also charged that a number of humanities departments “have become increasingly politicized over the past few decades” and that this politicization has had “a significant impact on the daily workings of faculty members.” Student challenges such as this are beginning to raise temperatures on campus. So are the spread of satirical bake sales opposing affirmative action and resistance to speech codes, speech zones, and the defunding of conservative political and religious groups. Republicans at the University of Colorado-Boulder now have a Web site for reports of bias based on political beliefs. In the current climate, sites like this are likely to spread.


    The one worrisome aspect of Horowitz’s bill of rights is that he took it to the Colorado legislature as a bill to be passed. The bill’s version of Horowitz’s text says the academic freedom of students “will not be infringed by instructors who create a hostile environment” toward their ideas. But “hostile environment” is a dubious and elastic legal construct. It can easily be stretched into restriction of stray remarks. Will professors run afoul of the state for offhand comments that offend the most sensitive person in class? Probably not, but why put the provision into law? Horowitz is right to say that “universities should not be indoctrination centers for the political left.” Once the student radicals of the 1960s became professors and took control of hiring committees, dissenters from the rising campus monoculture became rare. Words like “knowledge” and “excellence” faded, replaced by “transformation” and “social change” (i.e., politicization).


    But it’s doubtful that legislation is the way to go. It would be far better for Colorado to pass a “sense of the legislature” resolution backing the academic bill of rights in principle but making no attempt to legislate reform. Apologists for wayward campuses say these matters are best left to university administrators. Yes, but the administrators are the ones who created the current ideological mess. Pressure must be brought to bear to open up the humanities curriculums from their narrow postmodern and race-and-gender obsessions. But that pressure should come from protests and persuasion, not the involvement of politicians. Student governments at several universities have adopted a “Student Bill of Rights” modeled on Horowitz’s. Think of his bill as a model for more protests and a badly needed kick in the shins for university administrators.

    ********************

    Free Speech is for everyone.
  6. by   Spidey's mom
    Sorry . . . slow here at work and I found another example of not allowing someone free speech on campus.





    Welcome To Hate Speech 101
    Mike S. Adams (archive)


    February 16, 2004 | Print | Send


    I want everyone who is reading this short column to try to imagine what kind of behavior could have possibly prompted a UNC professor to so harshly rebuke one of her students for comments he made inside the classroom. Was the student wearing a hooded white robe? Did he have a noose in his hand? Did he utter the “n-word?” The answer is at the end of the column.

    Dear Professor Crystall:

    Could you please tell me whether you really sent the following e-mail, and, if so, what comments prompted you to do so?

    Mike Adams
    Associate Professor
    UNC-Wilmington

    dear all --

    because we did not have time to respond to and discuss fully [or barely at all] the last comments in class yesterday, and because we will be unable to do so on tuesday due to the length of the film, i find myself in the unfortunate position of having to resort to email, not the best medium of expression, in order to respond to thursday's class. let me add here, up front, that i invite all or any of you who feel the need or desire to discuss any of these -- or other -- issues further, to please email me and set up an appt. also, i find myself needing to address you all and not any one individual because what happened did so to all of us.

    1. let me start off my (sic) saying that i apologize to all of you for not having made clear the first day of classes what i will make clear here and now: that i will not tolerate any racist, sexist, and/or heterosexist comments in my class. what we heard thursday at the end of class constitutes "hate speech" and is completely unacceptable. it has created a hostile environment. i am deeply sorry and apologize to those of us who are now feeling that the classroom we share is an unsafe environment, for those of us who feel vulnerable or threatened. i will do my best to counter those feelings and protect that space from further violence.

    2. what we experienced, as unforuntate (sic) as it is, is, however, a perfect example of privilege. that a white, heterosexual, christian male, one who vehemently denied his privilege last week insisting that he earned all he has, can feel entitled to make violent, heterosexist comments and not feel marked or threatened or vulnerable is what privilege makes possible.

    3. for those of you who want to respond to and discuss further thursday's class and the comments that tim made, or anything else about this class, about yourselves, about the world, i will open the discussion board/forum made available to us on blackboard. the ground rules are: no anonymous posts are allowed; folks will be unable to delete or edit their messages after they have been posted; NO HATE SPEECH will be tolerated.

    thank you, elyse

    Dear Professor Crystall:

    I am sorry to bother you again. I am told that your e-mail (the one I referenced in my previous e-mail to you) was sent after a student expressed his religious objections to homosexuality in your class. I understand, furthermore, that he referred to homosexuality as “disgusting.” I am at a loss to understand why the First Amendment does not protect his strongly worded speech, while your (perhaps more) strongly worded rebuttal is protected. Is it possible that your speech is creating a hostile environment for your students at UNC-Chapel Hill? I am interested in hearing your side of the story.

    Mike Adams
    Associate Professor
    UNC-Wilmington

    Mike S. Adams ( www.DrAdams.org ) is still waiting for a response from Professor Crystall. Signed copies of 'Welcome to the Ivory Tower of Babel' can now be ordered at his website.

    ********************
    Ok, I'll get back to work now.
  7. by   SharonH, RN
    Very interesting. So a Puerto Rican guy who got to this school on a minority scholarship is incensed because he thinks this is somehow hurting White students? That is truly funny. I guess he's making up for it to his White friends. His time would be better spent ensuring that all Americans received a truly equal education and thus eliminating the need for those types of scholarships in the first place. And I don't care who believes it, schools in the United States are not equal and that is why some students go to school better prepared.


    I find it interesting that some of you have a problem with the UNCF. It was funded waaay back in 1943 in order to help needy students get an education and attend the private black colleges and universities as black students were not welcomed at other institutions and really, not a whole lot has changed. You wouldn't think that someone would have a problem with people trying to help themselves especially in light of the whining over affirmative action. But you just can't make some people happy no matter what, can you?


    Thank God I attended a private, historically black institution myself, so I didn't have to deal with this type of hypocritical BS at a time when I could least afford to be distracted.
  8. by   Tilleycs
    I personally don't have a problem with any kind of scholarship for anyone. If it will help them get an education and have a better life & future for themselves, more power to them. College is NOT cheap. I was awarded the Aubrey Lee Brooks scholarship when I went to NCSU, which was based on need and merit. I also got financial aid (a Pell Grant), and those are the only way I was ABLE to go to college. I've heard some people think that if you're white, you're automatically rich, but trust me - nothing could be farther than the truth. If you'd looked in the dictionary at the word "poor", there WOULD have been a picture of us in there, but we couldn't afford to go to the photo shoot (drum cymbals).

    If I hadn't gotten that help, an option would have been to go to a local black college on a minority scholarship (I'm white). I say, whatever way you can make it to college, go for it.
  9. by   Godswill
    Quote from LPN2Be2004
    There shouldn't be ANY sort of awards or scholarships based on race or ethnic background. The BEST QUALIFIED should be the receipient, be they white, black, green, or purple.

    I'll get the flaming from heck for this one but if there were something called "The United Caucasian College Fund", all hell would be raised, and it would be blasted for being 'racist'.
    No offense, and no flames, those of us who are minorities, and live in south know it greatly needed. But the majority of people who say thing like have u said are not educated on how real racism is
  10. by   smk1
    i agree in principle about scholarships being non race based. The problem that needs to addressed though is the public school system. Blacks have had a history of poor education or lack of it altogether in the US and thus many have stayed in low income areas because that is all that they could afford. Low income areas have low funding for their schools, less resources, lack of teachers willing to work under those conditions (and who can blame them? would you want to work in a hospital where you routinely lacked needed supplies to do your job?) in any case it is a viscious cycle that perpetuates itself over and over again. Of course there whites that also are educated in low income school districts, but when you look at the statistics a vast majority of minorities are educated in these facilities as compared to whites. This puts them at an automatic disadvantage. Its the same idea of getting an 'A' at harvard as opposed to getting an 'a' at a state school. The harvard student is probably getting a superior education because of the rich resources and best teachers available to them. Instead of being upset at these race based scholarships we need to fix the problems that lead students to need them in the first place. Level the public school system and rebuild it in an equitable manner, and maybe we can build a solid foundation for ALL of americas students instead of patching up an empty system with mindless soundbites like the "no child left behind" crap that is just exacerbating the problem in my opinion.
  11. by   KMSRN
    "You wouldn't think that someone would have a problem with people trying to help themselves especially in light of the whining over affirmative action. But you just can't make some people happy no matter what, can you?"

    I don't have a problem with people trying to help themselves, I think it is a good thing. Scholarships, groups, clubs are good things. However if it is appropriate for one racial or ethnic group to have scholarships, clubs, etc. then it is appropriate for all. Unless of course you are white and/or Christian.
  12. by   Godswill
    Quote from Tilleycs
    I personally don't have a problem with any kind of scholarship for anyone. If it will help them get an education and have a better life & future for themselves, more power to them. College is NOT cheap. I was awarded the Aubrey Lee Brooks scholarship when I went to NCSU, which was based on need and merit. I also got financial aid (a Pell Grant), and those are the only way I was ABLE to go to college. I've heard some people think that if you're white, you're automatically rich, but trust me - nothing could be farther than the truth. If you'd looked in the dictionary at the word "poor", there WOULD have been a picture of us in there, but we couldn't afford to go to the photo shoot (drum cymbals).

    If I hadn't gotten that help, an option would have been to go to a local black college on a minority scholarship (I'm white). I say, whatever way you can make it to college, go for it.
    sorry i didn't mean to ask u, i quoted wrong
    Last edit by Godswill on Feb 16, '04
  13. by   Godswill
    Quote from SharonMH31
    Very interesting. So a Puerto Rican guy who got to this school on a minority scholarship is incensed because he thinks this is somehow hurting White students? That is truly funny. I guess he's making up for it to his White friends. His time would be better spent ensuring that all Americans received a truly equal education and thus eliminating the need for those types of scholarships in the first place. And I don't care who believes it, schools in the United States are not equal and that is why some students go to school better prepared.


    I find it interesting that some of you have a problem with the UNCF. It was funded waaay back in 1943 in order to help needy students get an education and attend the private black colleges and universities as black students were not welcomed at other institutions and really, not a whole lot has changed. You wouldn't think that someone would have a problem with people trying to help themselves especially in light of the whining over affirmative action. But you just can't make some people happy no matter what, can you?


    Thank God I attended a private, historically black institution myself, so I didn't have to deal with this type of hypocritical BS at a time when I could least afford to be distracted.
    Where did u attend college at?

    KMSRN, what do mean by the comment below ?
    You wouldn't think that someone would have a problem with people trying to help themselves especially in light of the whining over affirmative action. But you just can't make some people happy no matter what, can you?"
  14. by   Marie_LPN, RN
    Quote from Godswill
    But the majority of people who say thing like have u said are not educated on how real racism is



    Never said that i didn't know how real racism is. Racism is a different story for each person. I had my own problem with it, and the problem wasn't a very common one either, but it does happen. And granted i don't deal with it everyday like some do.

    What i'm saying is that a race/ethnic background based scholarship is wrong all-around. A person may have to be the best qualified to receive it, but a scholarship shouldn't be limited to ethnic background.
    Last edit by Marie_LPN, RN on Feb 16, '04

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