By: Elizabeth Guldimann
Under the guise of “inclusivity,” the University of Nevada Reno (UNR) has implemented segregated dorm communities–telling YAF that white students are not considered to fill spots in “for the safety of student participants.”
According to the UNR website, the school houses three minority-only Living Learning Communities in Great Basin Hall––the Latinx, Indigenous, and Black Scholars. With the school’s website giving vague entry requirements at best, YAF reached out to the school for clarification on any requirements. “In the identity-based communities, for the safety of student participants, it is important only students who hold that identity are considered,” the Executive Director of Residential Life, Housing, and Food Services Dean Kennedy told YAF.
Great Basin Hall does house other students outside of the Living Learning Communities.
However sadly, this isn’t the first divisive initiative taken on by UNR.
Last summer, the school used school funds for a large mural painted supporting BLM. The school also hung Black Lives Matter flags around campus. The Director of the School of the Arts Tamara Scronce lauded that she was proud the project was “fully funded by student programming funds and School of the Arts student art fees.” In contrast, a “Coffee With A Cop” event last fall was deemed so offensive it prompted a statement from university president Brian Sandoval, and an apology from the university’s police chief.
This situation reflects the larger issue on college campuses–where rampant racism is given higher priority and administrative support than the initiatives of students with opposing views. At a publicly funded institution, students from all backgrounds and all viewpoints should have equal access to facilities, and equal opportunity to have their voices heard.
UPDATE: UNR has provided YAF with an updated statement, claiming that the Black, Latinx, and Indigenous dorm communities are “open to any & all students.” The school claims Dean Kennedt “misspoke” when he originally said that “only students who hold that identity are considered” for “safety.”
Elizabeth Guldimann is a National Journalism Center intern at YAF’s New Guard.