Elon University in North Carolina announced its intentions to host a “White Caucus” event where White students would discuss their “guilt and fragility,” according to the Daily Caller.
The event was announced by an internal university email sent to students, which said that the event was scheduled to be held online on February 16th. In it, “White-identifying” students would be asked to discuss “anti-racism…without re-traumatizing people of color.” Students who attended the online event would have been required to sign a confidentiality agreement beforehand.
The event would have been hosted by Elon’s School of Education, and the School of Education’s graduate coordinator, Jennifer Strange, confirmed that the school planned for it to be a recurring weekly event. Its purpose, according to Strange, would be to “discuss a range of topics, including how to build an effective White caucus, how institutional racism is maintained and how it can be disrupted, and why antiracist education is beneficial for all students.”
But as reported by Fox News, the university has since cancelled the event; although the original announcement received widespread backlash and ridicule, the cancellation was claimed to be due to the fact the event would have excluded students of other races. In a statement to Fox, a university spokesperson said that “because this student-led program would have excluded non-White individuals, it would be at odds with university policies and will not be held.”
The school also tried to walk back previous claims that the event would have been sponsored by the university, instead claiming that “the email was sent from students to other students, and Jennifer [Strange] assisted in that process.”