To “prevent white violence,” a private housing cooperative at the University of California, Berkeley prohibits white people from using its common areas.
The “Person of Color Theme House” was built as part of the Berkeley Student Cooperative, a project unaffiliated with the university that aims to give low-income, first-generation, immigrant, and underprivileged students of color housing in the San Francisco Bay Area of California.
“Many POC moved here to be able to avoid white violence and presence, so respect their decision of avoidance if you bring white guests,” a photo of the regulations on Reddit showed.
White guests are not allowed in the common area unless residents are alerted beforehand in the House Chat and approved.
Residents are advised to “avoid bringing parents/family members that display bigotry” because “Queer, Black, and Indigenous members should not have to shun common spaces due to homophobic or racist parents/family members.”
Adam Ratliff, Assistant Director of Media Relations and Critical Communications, told the New York Post that the “co-op housing is not operated by the university” and making comments is beyond the scope of the institution.
According to him, the university’s housing programs “do not discriminate on the basis of race, consistent with UC and campus policy,” and “have no such policies like the one alleged in the Reddit image.”
The policy has sparked criticism, with infuriated students claiming that it is overly strict and go against the idea of inclusivity.
One mixed-race student who claimed to have lived in the co-op alleged that they were called slurs and that their “presence as a light skinned person was not received well.” The student claimed on Reddit that she was forbidden from letting her father, a white man, inside the building.
Another user wrote, “One time one of my roommates in our house counsel meeting told me that I was harming her experience because she didn’t want a white roommate.”