STORRS, Conn. (WTNH) — There has been a lot of confusion and misinformation about UConn’s plan to support minority learning at the school. Rumors are swirling around the campus that an all black male dorm will be implemented, but that is not true.
A new dorm is going in; it will hold 700 students, but only 43 of those will be for African-American men.
Stephanie Reitz, spokesperson for the University says they have been fielding angry phone calls and emails because false reports out there about an all black dorm for men. It will be one floor in this brand-new dorm to help black men feel part of the University community.
“When you talk to them, what you’ll find is that they are the only black student in their class or the only black male in the dining hall and it is very isolating,” said Reitz.
In a recent survey, UConn found that there are 12,700 students at Storrs, and less than 600 black male students. 83 percent of UConn students graduate within six years, but black men only 55 percent. Student Kevin Waite likes the idea.
“It makes a lot of people feel at home, many people aren’t used to coming to a big school like this. It will be really diverse and I think it will be cool to have that,” said Waite.
The male black floor will fall under one of the 18 residential learning communities. They are for students living in dorms with the same interests, like engineers, or Hispanic studies, or environmentally-friendly students. The black male floor will fall under the residential learning community. Freshman Kwabena Afum says he does not believe it’s going back to discrimination..
“It’s not really because the whole dorm is a mixed dorm, it’s just one floor. And on this campus we have many different societies and dorming areas. We have dorms for people in certain majors and dorms for people in certain leadership groups,” said Afum.
Reitz says the floor for black male students will be open to other male students, as well.
“If you are a white male student, you’re welcome to apply with the footnote that it will primarily be around the experiences of being a black male student and it is not a segregated program by any means,” said Reitz.
The dorm is currently under construction and will be completed in time for fall 2016. The university says this will be an extension of the community living on campus.