Is College Segregation Declining? A Hopeful Sign
I recently came across a small scrap of evidence suggesting that this pattern may be in decline, not with those running dorms but with those living in them. A student about to start her freshman year at an elite liberal arts college was sent the name of the dorm she had been assigned to; a little online research found it listed as the college's African heritage house. Since the student was neither Afro-American nor especially interested in Afro-American culture, she called the college authorities to suggest that there had been some mistake. They explained to her that one wing of the dorm in question was being used not as part of the Afro-American theme house but as overflow housing .
The capacity of that dorm is about half the number of Afro-American students enrolled at the college. It follows that fewer than half of those students want to live in a theme house dedicated to their racial background--considerably fewer if we assume that some residents are not Afro-American and that a wing represents a substantial fraction of the dorm. And the fact that webbed descriptions of the dorm do not mention that it is only in part a theme house suggests that the number who want to live in an African heritage house may be declining.
Which, if true, is good news.