In most respects, the roommate-wanted notice seemed routine. Three students at the Claremont colleges in Southern California were looking for a fourth this summer to join them in an off-campus house. They added a caveat in parentheses: “POC only,” they said, using a common abbreviation for people of color.
When a classmate challenged that condition, the Pitzer College student who posted the notice on Facebook pushed back. “It’s exclusive [because] I don’t want to live with any white folks,” wrote Karé Ureña, who is black.
The online comments touched off a debate this week over race at Pitzer and neighboring colleges, one that flared into national headlines after the Claremont Independent student magazine wrote about it.