by Daniel Weldon, Summer ’17 Intern at YAF HQ
The University of Florida is creating a segment of student housing to encourage self-segregation by black students on campus, while at the same time advancing leftist ideas. Beginning next fall, a black student dorm called the Black Living Learning Community (LLC) will be offered by the University.
According to a UF website connected to the initiative, the dorm will be a “counterspace grounded in the black experience for students to live, learn, and lead together in a multicultural environment.” The site also says the “counterspace” will offer “events with Black Affairs and Multicultural Diversity of UF, faculty programming, leadership workshops, current events dialogues, and visits to locally black owned businesses in Gainesville.”
This bizarre policy and “counterspace” (another word in the Left’s made up lexicon of SJW verbiage) will do nothing but indoctrinate black students in liberal thinking and separate them from the rest of UF’s diverse campus community. The university claims that their new housing initiative is for “all students,” but the LLC is not designed that way. The report on the LLC even states that “non-persons of color or non-participating members … may feel isolated.” To remedy this, the LLC will use “strategic and purposeful programming” to help these students learn. To make this already baffling policy decision worse, the programs slated to be offered through the LLC carry a heavy liberal slant, ostracizing black students who are conservative or don’t fall in step with the Left’s orthodoxy.
Among the organizations set to coordinate with the LLC to provide programming are Black Lives Matter, and a lecture series emphasizing leftist speakers including former member of the Black Panthers, Kathleen Cleaver. Another program is the University’s “Gatorship,” a “unique leadership experience” designed to make UF students “more inclusive.” One student who wished to remain anonymous described one Gatorship session where students were told that “gender is like a pair of pants, you can put on a new one each day.”
Unfortunately, this new policy designed to essentially quarantine black students in a leftist utopia is not the first time the University of Florida has pushed liberal ideas while squelching conservative viewpoints. Over the course of the last five years, there has only been one conservative speaker present on campus to share their ideas. If UF really wants to help develop students into leaders, they need to create a viewpoint-diverse campus, where conservatives are given equal opportunity and platform as leftists. Indoctrinating students with propaganda such as “white privilege,” “microaggressions,” and “systematic oppression” only deepens the divide between students. The University’s action to create a LLC will only worsen these divides by isolating black students.
If the University of Florida really “values and respects diversity” as their Diversity and Social Justice Statement claims, I challenge them to get rid of the LLC and bring a black conservative speaker to our campus. Someone like Ward Connerly, Deroy Murdock, Star Parker, Herman Cain, Jesse Lee Peterson, or Lt. Col. Allen Wes–let’s start a real discussion and exchange of ideas we should expect from our University.
Daniel Weldon is a rising Junior at the University of Florida, founder of his school’s Young Americans for Freedom (YAF) chapter, a student body senator, and a linebacker for the Gators.