Claremont McKenna College is set to offer a program restricted to non-white individuals who feel they have experienced race-related stress. The college is officially funding the program, and its administration announced this week in a message directed to the students and faculty.
“Dear CMC community, The Cultural Influences on Mental Health Center at CMC is offering a FREE 8-week compassionate meditation program for ethnic minority students to learn how to heal from racism- and race-related incidents,” wrote Vince Greer, Assistant Dean of Students for Diversity and Inclusion.
“Students must identify as an ethnic minority, must have experienced race-related stress, and must have attended one of the Claremont Colleges for at least one semester. If you meet these requirements and are in need of such services, you are eligible to sign up!” [emphasis is Greer’s.]
Greer adds that the program will be headed up by Professor Wei-Chin Hwang, a professor of psychology at Claremont McKenna. The professor’s page lists his expertise in “cultural competency” and “race & social problems.” Two students will be assisting Hwang.
Per the Claremont Independent, the Institutional Review Board of the college approved the program.
Students have raised their concerns about the program’s exclusivity for minority students to the exclusion of whites. Speaking to the publication, members of the Claremont College Republicans expressed their dismay over the program, which they feel excludes the majority of students.
“It is troubling to see that CMC, an institution which just last year saw widespread movements against racism on campus, has approved and funded an event that specifically denies students the opportunity to participate on the basis of ethnicity,” said Alex Ohlendorf.
“By creating such segregated programs, administrators only encourage political polarization and prevent dialogue.”
The college was previously in the public eye after a group of liberal student activists created a “shady person of color” list to single out non-white students who had contentions with the social justice movement.
An online “safe space” for non-white students on Facebook was also shuttered following revelations that it had become a private burn book for social justice activists to mock and denigrate non-members, faculty, and even parents.
It remains to be seen whether the new meditation program suffers the same pitfalls of its spiritual predecessors.