UR students constantly brag about how proud they are of the intelligence on campus, and it’s mostly warranted. We are fortunate to be a part of such an intelligent student body. Even so, it appears ignorance is again rearing its ugly head.
I, like Bordwell, fully support DLH as an organization. I too think it adds considerable value to this campus because, among other things, it addresses sensitive issues that need to be addressed. Where I disagree is in Bordwell’s two assertions that “DLH acts to further segregate students” and that this kind of segregation shouldn’t be done. The way I see it, Bordwell means segregate in one or both of two ways. First, that the recruitment process actively filters out non-blacks. Second, that the recruitment process brings like-minded people together under a common cause, purpose, or interest. My position is that no matter which definition she’s using, Bordwell’s claims are wrong.
Let’s assume Bordwell takes segregation to mean that the recruitment process actively filters out non-blacks. If that is true, then it would imply that DLH is literally segregating. But this is false. Fortunately, DLH really is inclusive; nowhere in its constitution does it require that a house member be black. In fact, a part of the constitution explicitly states that the House will not discriminate based on superficial differences such as race, gender, and sexual orientation. Moreover, the family that is DLH is the most welcoming and inclusive I’ve ever lived in throughout my entire undergraduate career. DLH truly lives up to its inclusiveness ideals.
Notice what this means about her second assertion that this kind of segregation shouldn’t be done. Since it assumes that “DLH acts to further segregate students,” a claim that is false, then her second assertion is false as well.
But what if by segregate Bordwell means that DLH is uniting students with a common interest? Well, then she’s right that DLH is segregating in the sense that it is bringing together students with a common interest. But is she right thinking that this type of segregation should not be done? Should bringing together students who share passions not be done?
I think Bordwell is wrong here. I think the diversity of student groups on campus is partly responsible for the diversity that Bordwell so praises. Furthermore, if she is right that this kind of uniting for a common interest should not be done, then Bordwell ought to also be prepared to say that Music Interest Floor, Computer Interest Floor, GreenSpace, and every other special interest group is also doing UR a disservice. But that seems plain wrong.
Fortunately, groups like Douglass Leadership House — whose mission statement and commitments include “becoming better overall leaders through the study of leadership models, demonstration of leadership qualities, and the maintenance of personal and collective high academic standards” — exist and satisfy Bordwell’s prescription that groups ought to have founding principles which “encourage one to become to the best version of oneself.”
Consider this an open invitation for everyone to apply to DLH — a truly inclusive special interest housing group that encourages you to be the best you can be.
I would know. I’m white, and I live in DLH.
Piva is a member of
the class of 2014.