in today’s “that shyt don’t match” news….
Today the student body at the University of North Florida are grappling with a serious dilemma that could set a precedent across college campuses everywhere. The question: Can a white student effectively focus on African-American enrichment and lead the Black student union? Understand this is UNHEARD of on any college campus …especially since the minority presence on the campus is at about 14% (1,537 Black students vs. 11,381 white students.) source
The African-American Student Union aka AASU’s are generally formed to allow the Black students to network and fellowship amongst themselves, since most of the established clubs are white, clique-ish and impossible to permeate (let alone hold a position of responsibility). The AASU is also necessary for the self-esteem and success of the minority student body, a reminder of home in an environment of culture shock.
Some students are quick to point out that this is not a matter of race, it is a matter of experience. The young freshman hired for the top spot of Assistant Director has only attended half a meeting, has never set foot in the AASU office and he is unknown in the AASU (meaning he hasn’t participated in any of the events that would enable on to understand how to enrich the life of a young African-American on a college campus).
Torey McClesky was hired over Christa Merix, an advertising major and third year student and John Iyoyo, also a junior and a mechanical engineer major. Both slighted for the fair-skinned freshman. The students and the leadership of the African-American Union feel the decision was unlawful and racially motivated. Torey McClesky will also be awarded the salary of the position … $7.25 an hour. A salary paid from the dues and budget of the group.
Now here is where the story gets interesting. McClesky wasn’t appointed by some arbitrary Dean out of touch with student life. Nor was he appointed by the board members of the African-American Student Union (WTF!?)
No, the position was awarded to him by Sitou Byll-Cataria, student body President and his V.P. Giovannie Medina – both men of color. They claim McClesky was best suited for the job. They believe having a white staffer would broaden the appeal of the group, being that McClesky was involved in managing entertainment events of another campus group
The current director of the African-American Student Union says Cataria and Medina are trying to force diversity to push their own agenda. “They (Mr. Byll-Cataria and Student Body Vice President Giovannie Medina) are using Torey as a white poster-child for diversity to fulfill their personal agenda of a multicultural agency,” she said. OOooo! fighting words! (reminder: she is the DIRECTOR of the African-American Student Union).
Everyone is trying to stay politically correct, but it seems McClesky has four strikes against him: he’s never been involved with the AASU (no experience), he’s a Freshman (too young), the members of the Union didn’t vote for him and the unspoken reason , and probably the most important …he’s white.
So why was he given the position? Some kind of reverse affirmative action? Even in cases of real affirmative action, the Black candidate had to have experience, be the best of the best and have skill to at least 5 times that of their white counter parts.
The Black students have demanded that he be removed from their organization, and have vowed to continue to protest on the campus until their demands are met. They do not want their organization used as a good-looking bullet point on someone’s college resume.
McClesky views the protests as the students right, but has no plans to give up the position (or the salary). “I absolutely have the passion” he says.
MadMen, weigh in….