Education

‘White-Identifying’ Students Can Study ‘Whiteness’ In Loyala Program

white privilege at a clinic in Appalachia Getty Images/John Moore

David Krayden Ottawa Bureau Chief
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Loyola University Chicago continues to run a segregated program, so that “white-identifying” students can contemplate their “whiteness.” The program would appear to be in violation of Loyala’s own nondiscrimination policy.

The application form will be posted on university’s website on July 14, The College Fix reports.

It’s called Ramblers Analyzing Whiteness (RAW) and for three years now it has offered what the course curriculum describes as an “affinity space on campus for self-identified White students” who yearn to “become anti-racist, anti-supremacist White allies.”

Naseeb Bhangal, the RAW coordinator, told The College Fix that the program will indeed have a future at the university and will be offered again this fall “in light of the growing interest and student participation since the program began in 2014-15.” Students will be participating in groups of six to 10 in workshops and projects that concern social justice, so the RAW webpage explains.

Taking a page from the gender indentity movement, students who don’t appear to be white because the color of their skin indicates otherwise are nonetheless permitted to join the all-white program if they “identify” as being white, the webpage continues.

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This insistence upon “white-identified” students-only would not appear to be in agreement with Loyola’s Notice of Non-Discriminatory Policy that charges the university to “not discriminate on the basis of race..in the administration of its…school administered programs.”

RAW owes its existence to the university’ department of student diversity and & multicultural affairs. It may be allowed to disregard the school’s non-discriminatory policy because it plays so fast and loose with its conception of  being white. Even though it begs the question of how the program can study an issue for which there is no absolute meaning, the webpage insists that “there is no one accurate definition” of white, because the meaning has “changed throughout history.”

Whiteness is construed as “a socially constructed category that is normalized within a system of privilege,” or “a location of structural advantage” while remaining “a set of cultural practices that are usually unmarked and unnamed.”

Apparently Bhangal is the local authority on just who is white and who is not, as anyone interested in taking the course has to consult with the program coordinator to see if they are sufficiently white enough to participate.

The fortunate few assessed to be eligible can look forward to workshops in the upcoming academic years that include topics like “Unpacking and Unlearning White Privilege” or “Groundrules, Safe Space, Vulnerability.”

This is not a program for the fickle; successful candidates are expected to be present for all of the diversity office’s workshops.

“We welcome students with little exposure to concepts of White privilege to students who have a desire to learn about allyship and anti-racist, anti-supremacist efforts that address racial justice,” the program description promises.

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