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The Appalachian

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‘Check your privilege’ bulletin board sparks online, campus uproar

A crowd of residents gathered in the ground floor of East Residence Hall on Tuesday evening to discuss a bulletin board surrounding the idea of privilege, which has gained attention on-campus and in online publications.

Reggie Gravely, second-floor Resident Assistant and senior political science major put up the bulletin board, which lists definitions and memes on seven privileges, including able-bodied, heterosexual, Christian and white privilege. Gravely said he did not intend to offend anyone when creating the board.

“[The board] is picking at the fact that privilege is so silly,” Gravely said.

Photo: Luke Weir, The Appalachian
Photo: Luke Weir, The Appalachian

Soon after the board’s creation, national websites Campus Reform and Young Conservatives wrote opinion articles about the board, encouraging it to be taken down. Combined, the articles garnered more than 8,000 shares and hundreds of comments on Facebook.

The discussion was mediated by Meghan Luzader, a coordinator at University Housing, and Brandy Wilson, an assistant professor at the College of Education.

Residents voiced concern that the board comes across as stand-offish and distasteful because of its use of memes and strong diction.

“Talking about a controversial topic [like privilege] should be voluntary, it shouldn’t be brought to your front door,” said Matthew Desantis, second floor resident and freshman accounting major. “Of course certain groups of people have privilege, but the presentation is what bothers me.”

Another second floor resident, senior history major Michael Hebert, said he did not think the board achieved its goal of being educational.

“The content of the board is not inclusive, which is what an RA should be,” he said. “I have a hard time believing that I should learn at [3 a.m.] on my way to the bathroom. I agree with what [Gravely] is getting across, but not how he’s doing it.”

Kaitlyn Puff, sophomore nursing major and fellow East Hall Resident Assistant said she also thought the board’s tone – not content – was the problem.

“Reggie is kind of sassy – I think people took offense because of the board’s sass,” Puff said.

The discussion in East Hall went on for more than two hours, although attendance dwindled significantly by the one-hour mark.

“Not everybody gets to decide to think about their privilege,” Wilson said. “This is a university, the content of that board is to expand your thinking.”


Gravely said he does not plan to revise the bulletin board.

STORY: Luke Weir, Intern News Reporter

View Comments (7)
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Comments (7)

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  • S

    Sassy parentApr 11, 2015 at 12:28 am

    …and pulling my kids from this school. The board’s not “Sassy”, it’s racist, plain and simple. Congratulations ASU, you successfully lost one student, I hope more parents talk (and walk) with their wallets. FYI, same student that gave ASU this amazing bulletin board gave us #ThugLyfe. Bravo! It’s like watching Rome burn on slow motion. See you later ASU, we’ll find an environment that focuses on educating young minds instead of allowing the uneducated to pollute it.

    Reply
    • T

      The Right AnswerApr 16, 2015 at 8:35 am

      You can’t be racist towards a non-minority group. Racism entails a sense of power or status that one group has over the other; white people are the least oppressed people in the world, and thus, ‘being racist’ towards them is not the correct term. You can express prejudice towards a white person, but saying that someone is being racist towards a white person isn’t correct, since white people are not oppressed (hence the idea of what white privilege is). It’s the same concept as being ‘sexist’ towards a man; sexism only applies to females since they are the ones who are oppressed and receive more opportunity barriers than men.

      Note that I say this to you as white male, who has lived here in Boone all my life, and who has heard a myriad of arguments and counterarguments to this issue. Pull your kid out of Appalachian State if you so choose, but you’re not doing anyone a favor but all of us. I feel bad for you and your child; I can’t believe that having your happy little bubble of insecurity popped is so much of a big deal that you literally are going to transfer your child to another college.

      Maybe people such as yourself and your kid shouldn’t be in a progressive school, since you’re so closed-minded to progressive issues.

      Get out of my town.

      Reply
  • T

    TerryApr 5, 2015 at 1:18 pm

    Look, just tear it down and burn it. If I were a student there, I would have done that without a second thought the moment I saw it. And I just hope those anti-white communists would physically attack me while I was doing so. They would be deader than a doornail.

    Reply
  • T

    TomApr 2, 2015 at 6:45 pm

    Prayers that the hate of those supporting this blatant bigotry is removed…. May God be with us….

    Reply
  • F

    FaithApr 2, 2015 at 4:54 pm

    So now we go from “You didn’t build that.” to You didn’t earn that? Liberal lunatics are using envy the green-eyed monster to instill guilt, white guilt, whatever guilt for their OWN political advantage. The government is out of control and broke. Consider that.
    Stop playing the victim and belittling people’s accomplishments because of the skin color they were born with, or the family they were born into over, things which they had no control. It is a form of bullying. You have more opportunity in the US than anywhere in the world but that is quickly being destroyed largely by liberal brainwashing and ideas like this and rewarding victimhood rather than hard work. We should be thankful for our founders’ sacrifices and our parents hard work and not that we have equal opportunity no matter where we come from or what our skin color is, not envious or guilty. No good will come of pushing people’s buttons for envy, guilt or hate. Please stop.

    Reply
  • L

    LindaApr 2, 2015 at 1:05 pm

    Quit BULLYING Christians and whites. No one should be made to be ashamed or intimidated because of their race or religion. This is a govt. institution supported by taxpayer money. LAWSUIT.

    Reply
    • A

      A Palmer (@apalmer001)Apr 2, 2015 at 10:17 pm

      I agree with you. Anyone except those shamed on the board can do whatever they please and get away with it. They should be ashamed of themselves acting this way.

      Reply