Western Washington University Establishes ‘Blacks-Only’ Student Housing

Alma Clark Glass Hall, the site of the Black-only dormitories at Western Washington University. Image: courtesy of Western Washington University

Western Washington University (WWU) in Seattle has established housing specifically for Black students on its campus, Newsweek reports.

Beginning in the fall semester, 40 Black students had the option to reside in dormitories earmarked just for Black students.

The Black-only dorm rooms will be located on the fourth floor of the Alma Clark Glass Hall, which was named for the first Black student to attend Western Washington University in 1906.

On the school’s website, WWU explained that the housing program “will explore and celebrate the diversity of Black and African American people and culture, with historical and contemporary context.”

“All Western students residing in the program help foster a warm and vibrant community supporting social, personal, and academic success,” the page said.

WWU is one of many institutions that have established housing for students of color.

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New York University, UCLA, and Berkeley are some of the institutions that implemented similar housing and dorm policies. Most recently, American University launched an affinity housing program for Black students in Washington, D.C.These schools argue that separate housing creates a sense of belonging especially at universities where the majority of the student body, faculty, and staff is white.

In addition to housing, WWU will host discussions and events designed for Black students residing at Arma Clark Glass Hall.

“Residents in Black Affinity-based housing are encouraged to participate in periodic community programming and dialogues intended to build community, promote learning, and support wellness centering the Black experience,” the program description said. “Staff will organize opportunities for residents to attend Black-centered events and general university programs as a group.”

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