Whites-only scholarship stirs debate at R.I. college

by on March 21st, 2004


BRISTOL, R.I. – On the sleepy coastal campus of Roger Williams University, a small liberal arts school unaccustomed to student activism, the College Republicans are reveling in the debate they’ve kicked up by offering a scholarship for whites only.

The $250 award – which required an essay on ”why you are proud of your white heritage” and a recent picture to ”confirm whiteness” – has invited the wrath of everyone from minority groups and school officials to the chairman of the Republican National Committee himself.

Jason Mattera, a junior who started the conservative campus group in his freshman year, said kindling debate over free speech and affirmative action was just what he wanted – and he promises more.

”We did our job,” said Mattera, 20, of Brooklyn, N.Y. ”This is what college is all about, challenging the status quo.”

Michael Hussey