The Snapper Business Manager Steph Gilstein wrote an article in a previous printed edition of The Snapper titled “Segregation at MU.” It is evident that Ms. Gilstein wrote the article in haste and clearly did so without conducting any interviews or doing any research. In the eyes of many students, the article was a personal attack on both the BSU and the NAACP.
Ms. Gilstein states in her article that, “As I walked around during the Organizational Outbreak, I was disappointed in how many clubs self segregate themselves and in my mind cause racism by not allowing other races to join.” She continues to say that “There is an unwritten rule that segregates organizations based on ethnic backgrounds and culture.” If Ms. Gilstein had bothered to stop at either of the organizations tables and just asked questions, she would have known that both BSU and NAACP cater to all individuals, no matter the race, creed, color, culture, or ethnicity.
The BSU originated in 1967, when the entire black enrollment of 16 students met as a group for the first time. Over the past 42 years, the BSU has made adjustments with the time. Currently one of the BSU’s advisers is Caucasian. BSU’s purpose is to, “Create a substantial and meaningful community atmosphere for its members, to be an integral part of the community, and to provide unity among all the students.”
In 1992, The Snapper published an article titled, “MU Black Student Union opens doors to promote ethnic diversification,” in which The Snapper staff writer at the time, Todd Metzger, interviewed one of BSU’s members, Pat Feeley, who happened to be a Caucasian male. Feeley stated in the article that when he attended his first BSU meeting, he did not know what to expect, but he goes on to state that, “It is just like any other organization…I’m afraid this article makes others feel like I’m important just because I’m white, but the BSU is itself important because it is not racially exclusive.” All this information is public knowledge, but one cannot know if they do not ask.
Steph Gilstein’s only rationale for saying that organizations such as BSU and NAACP self segregate themselves is because from what she could see, “These organizations only had African American students in the club.”
In her own words she states that she does not understand why clubs such as BSU and NAACP exist and if a Caucasian was to make a White Student Union, she feels that it would cause controversy.
I have one question for Steph Gilstein and others who may think like her: What race did you see when you walked around organizational outbreak and passed tables such as Student Senate, UAB, or even The Snapper? If everyone was to go off of Ms. Gilstein’s explanation, then all clubs are considered to self-segregate. If I were to follow Ms. Gilstein’s logic and mentality, I would then believe that the majority of the clubs and organizations on Millersville’s campus are WSUs and in turn, I would never join, but luckily I have the sense enough to make inquiries.
I strongly believe that as college students, and hopefully mature individuals, we should be a little smarter with our thoughts. Asian Society is an organization on Millersville’s campus, but it does not cater solely to individuals who are Asian or of Asian decent, Society on Latino Affairs does not cater solely to Latinos, African Student Association does not cater solely to Africans, nor does MU Allies cater solely to gays and lesbians. I could continue, but I hope my point has been reached.
Ignorance and stupidity need to stop clouding people’s judgment so we can finally become unified and move on as a society to bigger and better things.