A Facebook post of Kare Urena, a student at Pitzer College, Claremont looking for a “non-white” roommate is making the rounds on the internet.
She posted on Facebook asking that any non-white students looking for accommodation can reach out to her or two other students she plans to share an off-campus house with.
The post, which has since been massively viewed, asks for only “POC” students to apply. POC stands for people of color. “I don’t want to live with any white folks,” Urena said.
When asked what prompted her to write such a post, Urena said it was just to create a safer environment for herself. She dismissed allegations that her post was racist.
“I do not hate white people, that’s not what I screamed in that post,” she said, as reported by ABC 7. “What I screamed in that post was I am eagerly desperate to create a safe space on this campus in order for me to return and be successful here.”
Melvin Oliver, the school’s president, said the post is “inconsistent with (the) mission and values” of Pitzer College. He further added, saying, “This is but another example to us that social media is not an effective platform to engage in complex dialog on seemingly intractable critical issues that have varied histories and contested understandings.”
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According to the Mission and Values section of Pitzer College’s website, “Intercultural Understanding enables Pitzer students to comprehend issues and events from cultural lenses beyond their own.”
The website adds that the college “supports the thoughtful exchange of ideas to increase understanding and awareness, and to work across difference without intimidation. We have the right to be heard and the responsibility to listen. Communication, even at its most vigorous, should be respectful and without intent to harm.”