Archive for Monday, February 16, 2004

Student group announces whites-only scholarship

February 16, 2004


— A student group at Roger Williams University is offering a new scholarship for which only white students are eligible, a move they say is designed to protest affirmative action.

The application for the $50 award requires an essay on "why you are proud of your white heritage" and a recent picture to "confirm whiteness."

"Evidence of bleaching will disqualify applicants," says the application, issued by the university's College Republicans.

Jason Mattera, 20, who is president of the College Republicans, said the group was parodying minority scholarships.

"White kids are at a handicap," Mattera told The Providence Journal. "Handing out scholarships based on someone's color is absurd."

The stunt has angered some at the university, but the administration is staying out of the fray. The school's provost said it was a student group's initiative and was not endorsed by Roger Williams.

Mattera, who is of Puerto Rican descent, is himself a recipient of a $5,000 scholarship open only to a minority group.

"No matter what my ethnicity is, I'm making a statement that scholarships should be given out based on merit and need," he said.

It's not the first brush with controversy for the group. The school temporarily froze the Republicans' money in the fall during a fight about a series of articles published in its monthly newsletter. One article alleged that a gay-rights group indoctrinates students into homosexual sex.

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