The Daily Tar Heel from Chapel Hill, North Carolina on January 30, 1991 · Page 5
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The Daily Tar Heel from Chapel Hill, North Carolina · Page 5

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Chapel Hill, North Carolina
Issue Date:
Wednesday, January 30, 1991
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Page 5
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The Daily Tar HeelWednesday, January 30, 19315 Racial dMsioii on campus sjMirfe iMegratioii debate: African-Americans over represented on South Campus - by force or choice? j By MARA LEE Stan Writer Old West vs. Hinton James. Fraternity Court vs. Great Hall. The Mason-Dixon line of UNC, South Road, creates many dichotomies. Although the University has been integrated for 40 years, integration in the personal lives of students is far from accomplished. One of the most easily measured patterns of segregation on campus is in the residence halls. Eighty-five percent of African-American students live south of the Student Union (see graph). DTH survey results show that North Campus residents are much less likely to be aware of this separation. One student said, "I've noticed more black people on South, but I never thought about it." The racial composition of the residence halls is not an issue on North Campus, said Lenny Roberge. A sophomore Englishart history major from Winston-Salem, he has lived in Hinton James and in Stacy. "When I was on South Campus, I heard a lot about South Campus being a black area. I remember them (housing officials) saying Hinton James wasn't significantly black, though they never gave any good reasons," he said. "Up here, I've never heard even a hint (about) racial composition of North Campus." The Southern part of heaven Of those who recognize the separation, 74 percent surveyed think it's self-imposed. A Black Ink survey found 94 percent of African-Americans chose their South Campus residence halls, while only 48 percent of whites did. "I wouldn't say they're segregated, because that implies forced, but they're not integrated," said James resident Nigel Long, a sophomore business administration major from Charlotte. "I don't see a lot of whites and blacks choosing to live together." Although a few people said housing was also responsible for the lack of integration, most people tried to explain why self-segregation exists. Inertia, or staying where their friends already lived, was mentioned most often, though many said North Campus was actually uncomfortable for African-American residents. "I just get a general impression that North Campus is sort of unified by a single-mindedness that seems to be white, affluent and corporate-bound," Roberge said. "Most of the people I live around seem to drive really nice cars," he said. "I don't know if that is really appealing to people who were not raised in that background." Miessa Stowe, a freshman English major from Charlotte, agreed. She lives in Ehringhaus, but stayed in Cobb for orientation. "I hated it. I was the only black girl, and I was totally different from everyone else," she said. "I hated their music, I hated their attitude, I hated their dress. "If I had to live on North Campus, I wouldn't go here. I'd say hey,' they'd whisper. Nobody spoke to me," Stowe said. Some students feel the choice is not just in reaction to diQpmfort, but it is a positive, community-oriented decision. Tim Cole, a senior psychology and history major' from Chapel Hill, said, "I think there's a long history of separation, and I think they're (African-Americans) going along with that to maintain cultural unity in the face of an Anglo-dominated university." James resident Mike Moore, a junior business major from Waco, Texas, thought it was less political. "I think the suite system has to do with the segregation. The hall system isn't as conducive to community," he said. problems between an interracial couple he knew. "There were things about her boyfriend's black friends she couldn't understand. They used to argue about whose skin was lighter. She thought that was tragic. "She'd say, 4I can't believe you're making such a concession to white oppression by denigrating other blacks because their skin is darker.' He'd say, You don't understand. You're white. You don't understand.' And he was right." Financial differences also figured in students' rationales. Laura Brown, a Morrison resident and sophomore history major from Greensboro, said that middle class African-Americans often weren't thought of as 'black.' "They tend to be able to cross over and be friends with both," she said. Twenty-one percent of the students surveyed blamed the Greek system for social separatism. Several students recognized the need for cultural identity and how that could affect integration. "I didn't realize how much a white culture pervades America, but if you stop and look at it, there seems to be a lot of things particular only to us," It's a racial thing Although some students seemed unsure about housing segregation as an issue, 96 percent strongly agreed students rarely form interracial friendships. However, students were hard pressed to explain why. One Lewis resident said, "Living in a North Campus dorm, where there's one black guy, of course I hang out with mainly white guys." Many survey respondents said social polarization was just the status quo. Searching deeper for reasons, most agreed with Kenya House, a junior international studies major from Charlotte. "A lot of people don't want to go outside their own comfort zones and make friends with members of other races," she said. Apparently, unfamiliarity breeds discomfort. "Although schools are basically desegregated, still neighborhoods are segregated, churches are segregated," said James resident Angela Gantt, a freshman political science and pre-med major from Charlotte. Cultural differences were often mentioned as the source of discomfort. Examples offered were musical tastes and drinking and dancing preferences. "There are certainly differences in experience, being a different race," Roberge said. "I don't think those differences necessarily create social barriers." But he spoke about communication Why do African-Americans choose to live on South Campus? 1 54 Choose to stay with friends on South Campus Felt uncomfortable on North Campus Campus social patterns reinforce segregation Feltencountered prejudice in North Campus dorms Source: DTH Survey DTH Graphic Percentage of total African-Americans living in each UNC Residence College "Jlf CO ""fcv 1 19 0 M Brown said. Cole said there was an argument that black students were not made to feel welcome at UNC. "I'm sure that that has an effect," he said. For example, Cole mentioned the lack of space in the Black Cultural Center. "The room now is not an adequate facility at all. It's amazing to me how long this process has gone on without any progress," he said. Cycle of segregation ' Racial tension on campus, which 85 percent of students surveyed believe is present, is part of a cycle that includes segregation. J Races don't feel comfortable together because they don't know anything about one another, and they don't associate because they don't feel comfortable, students observed. As one North Campus resident in favor of integration said, "If we don't interact, how are we ever going to understand each other?" J And many thought tension and segregation were linked. One North Campus resident said ."You face racial tension, so vou live in a closed environment which causes racial tension. It's hard not to fafi into the trap." Students were divided about whether segregation in thp residence halls caused racial tension, was a result of racial tension or was unrelated. Several students said simply that segregation didn't help. J The housing department has discussed setting aside seven or eight spaces in North Campus residence halls to facilitate integration. Only 22 percent favored integration of North Campus, and many felt it could have negative effects. "You can't force people to get along," one student said. ' Because most students think segregation is self-imposed", integration would be against the wills of both sides. However, Cole said, "I think it would be probably helpful because the white students need it. White students need to know that they can live with other people other than their own kind. ! "But at the same time, I wouldn't want to see that under;-mine the racial consciousness expressed by the students clustering on South." One North Campus resident said, "People should have the option of living in smaller dorms closer to campus." : House also supports integration. "With the campus being segregated, the races don't have a chance to talk to each other to help ease tension," she said. i: "Being a black student on North Campus has helped me understand them more. I've made a lot of close friends, and I don't think of them as white," she said. ' Solutions for racial tensions '. B ut most students said integration would cause resentment and even more racial tension. Long suggested that while more minority recruitment might help, he said, "I don't know if we can even alleviate tension on campus without alleviating tension in society as a whole. I don't think the concepts can be changed overnight." ; But a James resident disagreed. "Recruitment only encourages people to look at their color," he said. However, he said, "The issue is out in the open that's good." ; Non-mandatory race relations forums were the most-offered solution, but, as Roberge said, "It's preaching to the; converted." ', One James resident said, "Racial forums are very poorly, attended. I think a lot of people aren't following through." j Several students couldn tfindasolu-j tion, but were unwilling to say there, was none. "If I knew how to reduce, stereotypes, maybe I could do some thing about it," one James resident said; Similarly, some said it was too late; but education at a young age would be; positive.Several students advocated re ducing tension one person at a time. J An Aycock resident suggested ex; amining social habits, such as why stu j dents decide to ask only certain people about what happened during classes they missed. ' "Why are you going to a white girl?' she asked. "Why not a black guy, a black girl?" ; Cole also called for individual efj forts. "Individual study to raise your, own racial consciousness helps," he said; "Reading African-American author is really the best place for members of the majority to go Baldwin's great,' Malcolm X, Richard Wright." J He added that active participation ir( solutions could be tricky. "We all wan to see an improvement, but we have tc be careful not to appear to be the be-! nevolent caretakers of the minority; population. "Often when a white tries to support J it does not come across as trying to help) your fellow man as an equal." J Although students could not agree; on a solution to the problem, they al expressed relief that the problem was) slowly getting better in society. As a Lewis resident said, "Racism is. God." STOW (Alderman, Mclver, Kenan.OEd East, Old West, Spencer) CobbJoyner Olde Campus (Aycock, Everett, Graham, Grimes, Mangum, Manly, Lewis, Ruffln, Stacy) Henderson (Alexander, Conner, Winston) Scott (Avery, Carmlchael, Parker, Teague, Whitehead) Source: UNC Housing Dept. South Campus (Morrison, Eringhaus, HInton-James, Cralge) DTH Graphic lankj i I i ttttj? lath (Har Survey The Daily Tar Heel is conducting a survey about cigarette smoking among college students. Please take a few minutes to fill out the following survey and feel free to include any other comments. Return completed questionnaires to the marked box outside the DTH office on the first floor of the Student Union. (OPTIONAL) Name ; Year Major 3. At what age did you start to smoke on a regular basis? 6. Have you ever tried to quit? a. yes, successfully 4. Why did you decide to start? a. peer pressure b. curiosity c. to be cool d. other 11. Why or why not? b. yes, unsuccessfully - . c. no 7. What effect has smoking had on your health? 19 Hapnn pvprackprl nnvnnp nnttn smnkp in a nnhlin place? a. yes b. no Hometown 1. Do you smoke? a. yes (skip to 3) b. no 4. How many cigarettes do youdid you smoke a day? a. less than half a pack b. half a pack to one pack c. 1-2 packs d. more than two packs 5. Why do youdid you smoke? a. addicted b. pleasure c. stress d. social smoking 8. Have you ever been asked riotto smoke in a public place? 13. Does second-hand smoke bother you? a. yes b. no 9. Did it bother you? a. yes b. no 10. Do you think smoking should be banned in all public places? a. yes b. no a. yes b. no 1 4. How do you feel about a campuswide smoking ban? I i i i i i i i r i i 2. Have you ever smoked? a. yes b. no (skip to 10)

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