Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Do College Clubs Promote Segregation?

I have heard this question asked by students and staff on several occasions. In an odd way one can see why the question has been raised. Think for a moment about the various clubs offered, not only here at Fullerton College, but at other community colleges and universities as well, do they promote segregation?

For example here at Fullerton we offer a variety of clubs on campus that anyone can join, although when students look at the list of clubs and their titles, I would believe some would feel as though they would not “fit in” with that club. To name a few we have LAMDA, which supports and provides a safe environment for students to discuss and learn about the issues gays, lesbians, and bi-sexual/transgender students face; Black Student Union offers the same type of information, as well as the Filipino-American Students Organization and many others.

Before I go any further, I need to note that I have no prejudice against any club; I have actually supported some of these clubs during my time here at Fullerton. So, in a way it makes sense that one may believe that clubs at universities/colleges in a way could subconsciously feel clubs are for specific groups of people. I know for me when I first started I thought AGS and PTK were only for the really smart kids; which I later learned was not really the case (although they do require a certain GPA).

And when some clubs put themselves out there in the spotlight as supporting or promoting a specific goal and group, it can further lead other students to believe not all are welcome unless they support an issue; rather than them being able to go to club meetings to be informed about the group’s general issues. Personally I think some clubs across the board do an amazing job at welcoming all students, whereas others push general students away because they do not support their cause or are not of the same background.

This is an issue and I’m not sure if there is a solution that would help all students realize they are welcome to join any club and feel comfortable if they attend a meeting. And should there be or is it fair to restrict certain clubs from forming? That topic is for another day.

Until next time!

Joey McIntosh

“The cry of equality pulls everyone down.” – Iris Murdoch

1 comment:

  1. I can see and slightly agree with the segregation viewpoint on college clubs. On one hand it does kind of isolate and group certain groups of people and or issues. On the other hand I feel that having such narrow targeted groups can be more beneficial for some students who are seeking a place to express themselves or just be with a certain group of that nature whether it be an ethnicity group, academic, or just a recreational group.
    As ex president of Lambda I heard a lot of students asking why we only focus on lgbt issues and why we dont work with MECHA or the BSA and the truth is we should. I feel you can have a good balance of support for a specific cause or group while at the same time going out and extending a hand to other groups. Kind of like mixing and intersecting clubs for a common cause.