Friday, December 6, 2013

Starting on the Wrong Foot: An Invitation to Segregation at USI

Starting on the Wrong Foot: An Invitation to Segregation at USI
A “colored students only” invitation has been issued by University of Southern Indiana’s (USI’s) Multicultural Center for a Thursday, August 23 Cultural Diversity Welcome Reception at the start of the university’s Welcome Week for freshmen and transfer students.
This invitation appears in a USI press release and on the Multicultural Center’s website (
From the USI press release, pasted below,
“Tuesday, July 10, 2007
Multicultural Center hosts Cultural Diversity Welcome Reception
The USI Multicultural Center will host a Cultural Diversity Welcome Reception from 4 to 5 p.m. Thursday, August 23, in the University Center Room 201.

Students of color and their families[emphasis added] are invited to enjoy a variety of appetizers and connect with the USI community.

RSVP to Kacheyta McClellan, senior administrative assistant in the Multicultural Center, at

For more information, check out the USI Multicultural Center online.”
Our understanding is that “non-colored” freshmen and transfer students who want to attend the reception will be allowed in. An opportunity to meet a large number of USI administrators (including many “non-colored”administrators) will be a highlight of the reception.
Why does the invitation not reflect the fact that “non-colored”students can attend the reception? And how will “non-colored”students know they can attend if they are not invited?
How can a reception meant to highlight diversity be possible when only“students of color” are invited? It appears that USI is segregating students by race,even before they have had a chance to settle into college life.
This invitation to segregation during Welcome Week stands in stark contrast to that of USI’s Black Student Union (BSU) with its more inclusive welcome for students. From the Black Student Union’s webpage to bottom) we read:
“The BSU accepts and welcomes students of all races, cultures and ethnic backgrounds [emphasis added] into its membership.”
The Cultural Diversity Welcome Reception’s invitation to segregation could be made more inclusive with a simple change in wording:
“Incoming freshmen and transfer students and their families are welcome to the reception. We especially want to encourage students of color and their families to attend.”
As is it now stands, the invitation to the Cultural Diversity Welcome Reception is an invitation to segregation, and it is also a violation of the USI Creed and various provisions of the USI Handbook (see below).

No comments:

Post a Comment