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White Republicans Will Love This One!

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From aol news story: WHITES-ONLY SCHOLARSHIP

BRISTOL, R.I. (March 20) - On the sleepy coastal campus of Roger Williams University, a small liberal arts school unaccustomed to student activism, the College Republicans are reveling in the debate they've kicked up by offering a scholarship for whites only.

The $250 award - which required an essay on "why you are proud of your white heritage" and a recent picture to "confirm whiteness" - has invited the wrath of everyone from minority groups and school officials to the chairman of the Republican National Committee himself.

Jason Mattera, a junior who started the conservative campus group in his freshman year, said kindling debate over free speech and affirmative action was just what he wanted - and he promises more.

"We did our job," said Mattera, 20, of Brooklyn, N.Y. "This is what college is all about, challenging the status quo."

They did such a good job that school President Roy Nirschel, who has clashed with the group before, cut short a trip to Vietnam last month to begin what he called "a healing process" - including forming a commission on civil discourse.

The 35-member group first went toe-to-toe with university administration last year over a series of monthly newsletter articles accusing homosexuals of squelching free speech by pushing for hate-crimes legislation. The articles alleged that a well-known gay-rights group indoctrinates students into homosexual sex.

The administration froze the College Republicans' money for two days. Nirschel said in turn, he received threatening letters claiming he was suppressing the group.

Then another article critical of Kwanzaa, which celebrates the history and heritage of Africa, sparked a complaint by a multicultural student group.

Before the Student Senate had a chance to deal with that issue, the College Republicans came up with the whites-only scholarship.

The application for the $250 award required an essay on "why you are proud of your white heritage" and a recent picture to "confirm whiteness."

"Evidence of bleaching will disqualify applicants," read the application.

Mattera, who is of Puerto Rican descent, said the scholarship was a parody of minority scholarships. Mattera himself was awarded a $5,000 scholarship from the Hispanic College Fund, he said.

"Those who come from white (descent) are left to find scholarships on their own," Mattera said.

The whites-only scholarship generated national publicity, which angered university officials and many students who worried their school was being labeled as racist. Minorities make up less than 10 percent of the 3,400 full-time undergraduates.

Some minorities on campus, like Maria Ahmed, a 20-year-old junior from Providence, felt targeted.

"At first it was about the newspaper, just about every issue they were bashing some small minority group," said Ahmed, whose parents were born in Nigeria. "It's hard being a minority on campus, and it felt like (they) were directly talking about you."

The scholarship was criticized by the state Republican Party and Ed Gillespie, chairman of the Republican National Committee. In a Feb. 17 letter to Mattera, Gillespie said the scholarship conveys a "message of exclusion" that doesn't represent the party's values. He suspended the group's right to use the party's symbols.

Nirschel, who says he's eager to attract more minority students and faculty members, called the scholarship "repugnant" and convened a town meeting on campus he said attracted more than 500 people.

The meeting, he said, was the first of its kind in the university's history.

His commission on civil discourse includes faculty and student members and has already decided to organize a debate team and create a journal. "This has caused me to redouble our efforts to make the campus open," Nirschel said.

Mattera's cause has seen plenty of support, too.

Increased donations raised the scholarship, which was initially only supposed to be for $50, to $250. The American Civil Liberties Union backed the group's right to free speech after the Student Senate considered taking away its funding after the scholarship was awarded to Adam Noska, a 21-year-old junior from Weymouth, Mass. The Senate set aside the issue.

Some students just liked the idea of a whites-only scholarship.

"Nothing gets to me more than affirmative action," said Jamie Pattison, 19, a sophomore from Marblehead, Mass. "People want handouts."

Despite initial plans to make the scholarship annual, Mattera said it won't be offered next year.

"We'll continue to fight affirmative action ... but I think I made the point," he said.

03/20/04 02:19 EST

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Princess

I've read about this. I think it's a great idea to show how stereotypes are out there

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Alexander

So what if there's a white-only scholarship? Who cares? There's Asian-only, African American-only, Native American-only and left-handed-only scholarships too. People take things too out of hand. God forbid someone create a scholarship for each ethnicity.

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Tsl

No, see, it's completely ok to single out anything but Caucasians. Doesn't that make sense to everyone else? :roll::p

Actually, my favorite is racism through Afirmative action...

Example: at my university, a certain GPA, SAT/ACT score, and class rank gets you a scholarship. If you are black, the GPA, SAT/ACT score, and rank you must achieve to get the scholarship is quite a bit lower than for other students. There are several instances of this throughout scholarships and application requirements. If I were an African American applying to school, I'd be horribly offended!

Edited by Tsl

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Radioactive Isotope

that kind of stuff irritates me. it does give many students opportunities they might not have had otherwise, but sometimes better qualified students don't get into certian places because of racial quotas. for instance, there's a girl at my school who submitted two applications; one white, one asian. i think she got in with the asian one but not the white one.

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chozen

BACKWARDS

Why quotas?

Although.. if truth be truth.

The rich man is white, and the poor man is made up of whatever's left.

If scholarships change the fate of these people.. Then so be it..... Scholarships are fine, if it helps the less off then let it be.

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Alexander

The white man is rich, and all else remains poor except for the small few.

I'd say that's a big generalization.

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chozen

I'd like to say so too.. But in all honesty... I can't...

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Alexander

I'm white, and I'm not rich. :???:

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chozen

heh.. You see.. I worded it wrong..

and of course it's a generalisation but in most cases.... You'd find that inner city dwellers generally get the worst end of the deal.. While the suburban populace generally has a better standard of life..

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Mirax

Why quotas?

Because there was a point in time that if the federal government hadn't stepped in and made them, there wouldn't be the desegregation there is now. In America, during the beginning of the civil rights movement, yes there were cries of reverse racism. However, to desegragate the populace, it was necessary for the government to step in and institute quotas. Is it or was it right back then to say that a black person could meet lesser standards than the white? Probably not, however without these types of provisions we'd still be living in a segregated world.

and of course it's a generalisation but in most cases.... You'd find that inner city dwellers generally get the worst end of the deal.. While the suburban populace generally has a better standard of life..

The suburban populace used to be the inner city populace. When desegregation and "quota" laws were inacted in America, the white people reacted by moving to the suburbs rather than staying in the inner city and being desegregated.

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chozen

Rhetorical, but yes.. correct.. except for the suburb part.

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Tsl

The issue now is no longer one of desegregation, per se. The reason given for those racially based scholarships is that Blacks tend to, as Chozen pointed out, live in more underserved or impoverished areas. These areas have crappier schools because funding is often based on property tax values, which are going to be lower in the inner city than in suburbs (that's the case in Ohio anyhow).

Ok, that said...what about the white, asian, etc. kids who live in the inner city? What about the poor white, asian, etc. kids who go to suburban/rural schools?

If they are going to base scholarships on something to help those who might not get to go to college otherwise, then they should base it on the kids' financial situations or the school that they came from's academic performance.

I think that would be way more fair (and less insulting) to everyone.

I mean, how would you feel if you went to apply and they said: Oh, you need a 1200 or more on your SATs to get this money...oh wait. You're black, ok a 550 will do. That would majorly piss me off, lol.

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Alexander

If someone gets a 550 on the SAT they don't deserve to live. Either that or a good hard bithslap. :p

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chozen

1. I wasn't talking about "Blacks" i was talking about most ethnic groups..

2. I've generally found that Asian families have done exceedingly well.. Nice car, house, business.. etc.

If they are going to base scholarships on something to help those who might not get to go to college otherwise, then they should base it on the kids' financial situations or the school that they came from's academic performance.

"BACKWARDS"

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