- The Washington Times - Tuesday, October 4, 2016

There’s only one rule for Columbia University students who want to attend an upcoming leadership retreat: you can’t be white.

The “Students of Color Leadership Retreat 2016,” slated for Nov. 12 at New York City’s YMCA Camp, bills itself as “an intensive weekend of personal development, empowerment and community building” for students at the Ivy League university and all-women’s Barnard College, reported The College Fix.

But it’s only for those who “identify themselves as a person of color as a primary identity,” Columbia’s website adds.

When pressed for comment by The College Fix, Columbia administrators referred to a statement about the merits of the segregated team-building program.

“The Students of Color Leadership Retreat is a longstanding annual program for undergraduates at Columbia and Barnard,” said Melinda Aquino, associate dean of multicultural affairs.

“The program, which is geared towards any student who self-identifies as a student of color, provides structured activities and guided exercises that enable participants to build community and reflect on their abilities to effect positive change within their own lives, within student organizations, within the Columbia University community, and within society at large,” Ms. Aquino said.

She said the Office of Multicultural Affairs offers other programs for “all students interested in diversity and identity.”

• Bradford Richardson can be reached at brichardson@washingtontimes.com.

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