Study finds campus residence halls have racialized labels

Published Apr 07 2021 at 7:00 AM GMT
  • Image: Although living on campus is often promoted and viewed as an important aspect of college life and a positive way for college students to meaningfully engage with classmates of different races, nationalities, religions and socioeconomic backgrounds, a new paper says the reality at many institutions is quite the opposite.
  • Far from being egalitarian living spaces, many dorms are highly segregated along the very lines and backgrounds communal living was supposed to erase, according to an article on the racialization of university housing recently published in the Journal of College Student Development.
  • The paper by Zak Foste, a professor of higher education at the University of Kansas, was based on a qualitative study he conducted that found students, resident assistants and some housing administrators at three large universities located in predominantly white communities saw certain residence halls on the campuses as inaccessible to or largely uninhabited by Black students or other students of color.
  • Foste interviewed nearly 70 people at all the campuses and found that there were prevailing stereotypes and perceptions about the newest, most expensive dorms on each campus as “the white dorm,” occupied by middle- and upper-class white students, and that older, neglected buildings were known to house poorer students and students of color, he said.
  • Some of the student interviewees referred to these dorms as “the trenches, the hood, the ghetto,” Foste said.


  • Published Apr 7, 2021 7:00 AM GMT