Student advertises for a non-white roommate which sparks college racism debate

Kare Urena, a student at a college in California has sparked a racism debate after posting an advert for an non-white roommate, saying that she didn’t want to live with “white folks”.

To some the Urena’s request was completely understandable following a racially charged year when many students of colour had demanded more support from the administration. To others, it was simple racism to exclude potential roommates based on skin colour.

Pitzer President Melvin Oliver calls the post ‘inconsistent with our mission and values’. He said the college wants to engage ‘complex intercultural issues, not to isolate individuals on the basis of any protected status’.

48% of Pitzer’s undergraduates were identified as white, 15% were hispanic, 9% Asian American 9% multiracial and 5% African American.

Urena told the Washington Post: “When and if you understand this context, it becomes clear that students of colour seeking a living space that is all-POC is not only reasonable, but can be necessary.

“We live in a world where the living circumstances of POC are grounded in racist social structures what we can not opt out of.

“These conditions threaten the minds, bodies and souls of people of colour both within and without the realms of higher education.

“We are fighting to exist. Our people are being killed. Every which way, through every which angle. Our people are being killed. Our housing arrangements are not racist. They are not exclusive. We are simply fighting to exist and we are fighting to exist in whatever way we can.”