An off-campus housing co-op for University of California, Berkeley students bans white people from entering common spaces to “avoid white violence” — sparking criticism that the policy inflames racial tensions.
The five-story, 30-room “Person of Color Theme House” near the school requires students to declare their race when signing in and to announce when they’re bringing white guests in to the building, according to house rules leaked on Reddit.com.
“Many POC moved here to be able to avoid white violence and presence, so respect their decision of avoidance if you bring white guests,” the rules declare. “White guests are not allowed in common spaces.”
The building, which houses up to 56 students a few blocks from the university, also urges students to avoid bringing family members that “express bigotry,” according to the College Fix.
“Queer, Black, and Indigenous members should not have to avoid common spaces because of homophobic or racist parents/family members,” the rules state.
The building was set up by the Berkeley Student Cooperative to bring affordable “housing to low-income, first generation, immigrant and marginalized students of color” in the Bay Area.
But some of the rules sparked outrage, with students saying they’re too aggressive and defy the spirit of inclusion.
One mixed-race student, who claimed to have lived at the house, said that their “presence as a light skinned person was not received well” and that they were called slurs.
‘[I] was not allowed to let my dad enter the house because he’s white,” the student wrote on Reddit.
Another former member wrote a Medium article saying the house had earned a reputation for its aggressive “call-out culture” and “lack of intersectionality.”
Janet Gilmore, Senior Director of Strategic Communications at the University said the house is “not campus-operated” and that “it is not the role of the campus to comment,” according to the Daily Mail.
She said the school’s theme programs have “no such policies like the one alleged in the Reddit image” and that they “do not discriminate on the basis of race, consistent with UC and campus policy.”
“As this involves an off-campus non-affiliated landlord, the campus has no ability under the Code of Student Conduct to discipline the landlord,” she said.
Adam Ratliff, Assistant Director of Media Relations and Critical Communications, told The Post the “co-op housing is not run by the university” and that it’s not the school’s role to comment.
“To be clear, it is not campus operated. This property is operated by a private landlord, and it is not the role of the campus to comment on what private landlords are ‘allowed’ to do,” he said.
He said the university’s housing programs “have no such policies like the one alleged in the Reddit image” and “do not discriminate on the basis of race, consistent with UC and campus policy.”