Inquiry could lead to amended programs that do not exclude based on race
Pacific University is under federal investigation for three campus events that appear to exclude white students, in potential violation of the 1964 Civil Rights Act
The Office for Civil Rights within the Department of Education recently informed Mark Perry that it would open up investigations following his complaint filed with the office on Jan. 25.
“I’m assuming the University will agree to discontinue those events/programs or open them to everybody regardless of race,” Perry told The College Fix via email recently. “In that case, it’s likely the University would also discontinue all BIPOC-only events/programs, including any BIPOC-only faculty/staff events/programs.”
The former University of Michigan-Flint economics professor has filed hundreds of Title VI race discrimination and Title IX sex discrimination complaints.
Another complaint filed against a “BIPOC Affinity Group,” which only allowed black, indigenous and people of color to attend, has been transferred to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
The DOE is opening an investigation “because [Perry’s complaints] raise a possible violation of Title VI,” Sarah Dunne, an attorney with the OCR, wrote in a letter sent to Perry.
The three events under investigation include a fall 2022 semester event called “BIPOC Let’s Talk: A Confidential Space for Black, Indigenous, and People of Color to Talk, Find Support and Establish Community” and a BIPOC Virtual Alumni Forum which was only open to alumni who identify as “Black, Indigenous, and/or people of color.”
“[A]s the [‘Let’s Talk’ program] name indicates and the program description confirms [the event] operates exclusively for BIPOC (Black, Indigenous & People of Color) students while illegally excluding non-BIPOC students and discriminating against them on the basis of their race, color and/or national origin,” Perry wrote in his complaint.
A “BIPOC Mentorship program” also is a subject of the inquiry.
“The university’s multiple cases of illegal race-based discrimination suggests that they are either unacceptably unaware that this type of racial discrimination is illegal or they are instead inexcusably unconcerned about unlawfully violating the civil rights of certain groups of students (whites/non-BIPOCs),” Perry previously told The Fix.
Universities have regularly ended or amended programs that appeared to exclude whites or males, following complaints from Perry and OCR investigations.
MORE: UNC Chapel Hill opens academic program to all race after civil rights complaint
IMAGE: Pacific University
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