Ptizer College student body is 49% percent white. Honestly, that was enough information for me. In addition to these students being in white space all day, there is an immense amount of racial injustice occurring in this country. Black people are being killed and their deaths are being publicized everywhere. That’s traumatic. There is a presidential race occurring that has a candidate who is blatantly racist and his slurs are in our face. All. The. Time. These students don’t have a choice but to be surrounded by hate. Regardless of the resources the institution may be providing to support students processing current events, it’s more than okay for them to want to go home and have a space of only other POCs.
This whole issue isn’t about white people not being allowed to inquire about rooming with POCs. It also has nothing to do with whether these students feel like they can live with white people. I interpreted this roommate request as students valuing self care and being intentional about creating the space to take care of themselves. Mental health is not a game. The trauma POCs are experiencing is real. It is necessary that we take care of ourselves. There is absolutely no need to apologize for taking action to create a safe space that allows healing. I would actually argue that it’s necessary.
I want to encourage anyone reading this to take care of yourself how you deem fit. Do not devalue your mental health and well being to appease others. Lastly, if you have a moment please check out the student’s statement addressing her request and the responses she received.
Sidebar: Can we briefly discuss how I was triggered by the author’s statement of saying the college was ONLY 49 percent white? Sir, I get it in the technical sense that 49 is less than half and it is okay to say only when describing proportion. However, please think about the context. There is nothing only about 49% of a student population identifying in a specific category when the other 51% is split among several other racial identities.