BU Not-So-Blue?

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The College Republicans are up to provocative hijinks, and the media is in an uproar. Another controversy for Alma Mater to be swept under the proverbial rug of genial administrative smiles and cautiously-worded PrezBo emails? Alas, the honor of this scandal belongs to no sons of Knickerbocker, but has been conferred upon intrepid students at none other than that NYU of the North, Boston University- and no elaborate Nobel Prize victory ceremonies are on the way to take the heat off there.

To the chase! In the effort to follow in the footsteps of such legendary GOP Jr. events as Affirmative Action Bake Sales and Global Warming Beach Days, BU’s conservative crusaders have devised a scholarship for caucasians. Well, not just caucasians, but applicants need be at least 1/4th white. In addition, the BUCR’s scholarship app asks for a 250-word essay “describing your ethnicity,” and another concerning “what it means to be Caucasian-American today.” The group denies they are attempting to “give a scholarship to white kids” but, rather, merely start a debate on racial preferences in higher education. Given the scholarship amount is $250, vs. BU’s $33k tuition, that much, at least, seems obvious.

Considering all the, uh, magnitudinous support their own party has given them, however, this tactic doesn’t seem to have generated precisely the discussion they were looking for. The executive director of the Massachusetts Republican Party called the idea “misguided and offensive”. His boss in Washington: “highly inappropriate.”

Never fear, BU College Republicans. Bwog has all kinds of great ideas for other stunts. And if those don’t work, we’re sure Columbia’s resident pre-Roves have some inspiring schemes up their sleeves as well.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Bwog is sure that College Democrats nationwide get up to all kinds of wild, crazy, and veritably litigable nonsense, and in the interest of being “fair and balanced,” we looked for some. But, um, we couldn’t find any. Anyone concerned, then, about the political “tilt” of Bwog is advised to send in whatever dirt, muck, or stained dresses they can find on their political opponents, be they Democrat, Republican, Libertarian, Trotskyite, Zoroastrian, Amphibian, or what have you, to bwgossip (at)

EDITOR’S NOTE II: Oh, yeah, and this happened recently too. Bwog is glad CU Security isn’t armed with tasers…but was always kinda nervous about those truncheons swinging from CU Security’s utility belts…


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  1. one too many  

    "merely"s in that sentence

  2. tasers

    spec says campus police do carry tasers: "According to Public Safety, Columbia campus police do now carry tasers."

    i didn't think they did, but i don't know for sure. do they have a giant correction to run, or is bwog's info out of date?

  3. jds  

    When I read the spec article, I figured it was a typo and should have been "do NOT carry tasers"

  4. opoulos  

    ok, i'm going to bite.

    as i understand it, affirmative action today is justified NOT by "we were mean to (insert racial group) people in the past, so now we are being nice to them by letting more in to college", but by "diversity is nice. thus, it is ok to consider race as a factor to increase diversity".

    it seems this caucasian scholarship goes against the goal of increasing diversity, because BU is predominantly white. but, this scholarship would indeed be justifiable at a college which is predominantly non-white.

    • well  

      my understanding is that neither of those justifications is fully correct, but that the purpose is to correct for CURRENT disdvantages. the point was not that a caucasian scholarship was necessary for diversity purposes, but that it was only fair in a system that awarded preferences based on race rather than other factors that were truer indicators of current hardship.

      • opoulos  

        point taken, thanks.

        if i am not mistaken, our own lee bollinger defended the practice in a supreme court appearance. in the interest of factual knowledge, does anyone well versed in this subject know exactly on what legal grounds it is/was upheld??? (there is a lot of contradictory information online.)

        • I can't  

          speak to the supreme court case. when I was in an interview with the dean of georgetown law his response to the use of socioeconomics rather than race was essentially that this was far more difficult to pin down, and that race was an effective "shorthand" for hardship. of course, the problem is that such a philosophy allows a lot of people to fall through the cracks with far more complicated circumstances, not to mention that it's self-perpetuating (if race is always the shorthand, how do we know when affirmative action is contributing to less hardship? it's not as if minorities are going to decrease in number when poverty decreases and opportunity increases).

          I think with respect to the bollinger case that the court was insistent that michigan do a fuller review of each applicant, and the university actually committed itself to this. incidentally, the state of michigan voted in a referendum on election day against racial preferences in admissions...

          • the idea  

            of race as shorthand is what gets people all worked up. but, in essence, as a generalization it is true that african americans are worse off financially in america.

            the problem with switching the system to one just based on income is that there are a lot of smart douchebags out there that know how to hide assets.


    Bake sale, anybody?

  6. Hmmm  

    I would rather see ten economically disadvantaged kids be admitted to the one douchebag than not. It is a problem, but one that plagues many other aspects of government, most obviously medicare and welfare. The fact of the matter is that race simply doesn't cut it as a blanket category for admissions. There are many many many economically disadvantaged kids in Appalachia, rural west, etc. By negating any advantage to them we are simply sealing their fate and furthering stereotypes of those people. Yes, there are a plethora of Latinos and African Americans who are impoverished, but there are also well-to-do members of those groups. I don't see any reason why affirmative action should not be economically based--why give a hispanic student whose parents make $60,000 plus the advantage over a white, provincial whose parents make less than $30,000?

    • opoulos  

      for the sake of argument, and given what previous posters have said...

      what would you say to the argument that affirmative action is a partial remedy to _race-based_ discrimination that minority students encounter in their lives, and thus should be applied at least partially along the basis of race?

  7. used to have a $2500 scholarship. They're a white power group.

  8. wirc  

    I hope these people realize that most affirmative action programs actually restrict East Asian (not Southeast Asian) admissions more than Caucasian people. Because five bucks says they wouldn't support a scholarship for that.

  9. Hmmm  

    Racial discrimination hinges on the economic argument though. What is the end result of African Americans being discriminated against in the workforce, school funding, etc? It is a lack of economic ability. We are arguing, then, about college admissions, which for the huge majority, are no longer prejudiced against African Americans, Latinos, etc. The question is Opolos, are we going to give a free admission pass to people for the possibiity of having experienced racism at some point in their lives without economic hardship to prove it? It makes no sense that an African American student whose parents are I-bankers should be admitted ahead of a student from a farm in N. Dakota in a struggling rural community because he might have experienced racial discrimination at some point in his life. Those possibilities are psychological, not the quantifiable hardships the other student has endured.

  10. Anonymous

    just for the record, BU has a black population of 2.6% and a white population of 71%.

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