SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX 5) — New student housing designed for African-American students and culture is coming to San Francisco State University.
African-American students make up just under 6 percent of the campus population and it’s unclear how many dorm rooms will be dedicated to African-American culture.
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University officials says the plans are in the very early stages.
Last spring a cellphone video captured a racially-charged encounter at the SF State campus. In the video, an African-American woman is upset and gets physical with a white man about his dreadlocks.
Now, campus officials are responding to demands from the Black Student Union to create a new space on campus where students can safely live and talk about issues affecting African-Americans.
SF State spokesman Jonathan Morales said, “We want to be pro-active responding to some of the issues that have been brought out by the Black Lives Matter movement and we want to work with our student leaders in the Black Student Union and other students of color organizations to make sure that our living and learning community here is inclusive…”
SF State already has several themed dorm floors – one for science and tech, another for business, and another for civil and community engagement – this newest theme though would be specific around race and culture. They are calling it an Afro-themed dorm floor.
Student Brittany Trimble said, “I definitely think it’s a good thing if people want to learn more about the culture and especially with the Black Lives Matter movement, if that’s incorporated into it. I think that’s a good thing.”
Cal State Los Angeles has already started offering housing specifically for black students, who make up about 4 percent of their campus.
Critics of the idea say it could lead to self-segregation.
Student Sam Gebremiche said, “I think we need to have united dorms and have different cultures be together and just come as a group.”
But university officials say though the dorm floor will be geared toward African American students, it would be open to anyone who wants live there.
Student Jessica Wang said she feels it’s okay, ” because everyone is allowed. It’s not like only African-Americans are okay to live on that floor.”