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'Whites Only' Scholarship at RWU

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This story has grabbed national headlines and is extremely embarassing for Rhode Island. It's doubly sad because Roger Williams University is named after our state's founder, who settled here to create a colony based on religious tolerance, and Rhode Island has prided itself on carrying that tolerance through all areas of society, not just religion. Roger Williams is probably spinning in his grave.

College offer ripped by GOP

State Republican Chairwoman Patricia Morgan sees "racist overtones" in a whites-only scholarship sponsored by the College Republicans of Roger Williams University.

BY ALEX KUFFNER

Journal Staff Writer - Tuesday, February 17, 2004

BRISTOL -- A whites-only scholarship being offered by the College Republicans at Roger Williams University is "disturbing," says the state's Republican chairwoman.

"It does not move us forward in a reasonable debate over the issues," Patricia Morgan said yesterday.

She emphasized that the student group is not sponsored or supported by the state Republican Party.

Morgan responded after learning that the College Republicans are offering a scholarship -- which now stands at $250 -- that is only open to applicants who are white. The group created the scholarship as a statement against affirmative action. It is not endorsed by the university administration.

Though she did acknowledge that the debate over affirmative action is valid, she said the student group's tactics have "racist overtones."

"We have zero tolerance for racists in the Republican Party," she said. "I'm really appalled by the way they brought this up."

The College Republicans have been advertising the scholarship on their Web site over the past two weeks. They also took out an ad last week in the Hawk's Herald, the university's student newspaper.

The application for the scholarship asks for an essay explaining "why you are proud of your white heritage."

The scholarship recipient will be announced tomorrow night by Reginald Jones, a critic of affirmative action who is giving a lecture entitled, "How the civil-rights movement destroyed the black community."

The scholarship was originally for $50 but was increased after two donors each gave the College Republicans $100, said Jason Mattera, the group's president.

He said yesterday he had received "at least 10" more offers of money for the scholarship.

"This really blew up," he said.

Also yesterday, Roger Williams University's College Democrats responded to the scholarship offer.

"The College Democrats are shocked at the sheer naked hypocrisy of Jason Mattera and his extremist organization," said William Keefe Sandler, the acting president of the College Democrats. "If he truly believes in the message of his publicity stunt, I ask that he return the thousands of dollars he has received in his ethnic scholarship."

Mattera, who is of Puerto Rican descent, was awarded a $5,000 scholarship from the Hispanic College Fund. He also receives an $8,000 annual scholarship from Roger Williams.

He has said he received the money because of his academic achievement and not his ethnicity.

Sandler said the College Republicans' initiative has offended other students at the university.

"It sullies the reputation of our school," he said.

From The Providence Journal

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I saw this headline on some of the national news sites. I laughed so hard at the headline, I never bothered to read the whole story.

Although I believe that there is a considerable racial inbalance in this country, I do have some beef with programs like affirmative action because I don't believe they actually solve the issues of inequality, simply mask them. I also don't believe in programs that divide people rather than try to bring them together.

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The debate over affirmative action should certainly continue. But they could be a little less Aryan about it.

Scholarship Application:

1st Annual

Roger Williams University College Republicans

White Scholarship Award

APPLICATION

The Roger Williams University College Republicans Student Association is offering one (1) $50 scholarship award available to students of non-color. If you would like to take advantage of this opportunity, please fill out the application below. If you have any questions, feel free to contact Jason Mattera at [email protected] You must submit this form in the College Republican mailbox (located in the clubs and orgs. wing of the recreation center) by 5:00 p.m., Tuesday February 17th. The winner will be announced on February 18th at 8:00 p.m. in CAS 157 before the lecture

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This pisses my off :angry: The reason why there is affirmative action is because us Blacks had it tough from the start and we still have a disadvantage. There was a scandal with Coke a few years ago. They were only hiring whites for the top office positions. People think that we now have equal oportunities now, but we still dont.

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Personally, I could care less about this little incident, and I'm black. Knowing the history of this country and the injustices still being practiced today, I totally understand why Affirmative Action is still needed today. There's no reason, people like our own President should get admitted to Ivy League schools or dodge the draft, due to the fact their rich. There's also several false statement regarding AA (like "a job taking a less qualified minority over a white, just because their black). The few minorities who benefit from AA are just as qualified as anyone else. AA only levels out the playing field. However, I believe AA can be done away with if there was a real effort to improve educational conditions, for the poor, at the elementary school level as well as strictly punishing the people & companies who are proven to practice racist views (ex. jail time, heavy fines). Then and only then will there be an equally playing field for everyone in this country.

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