Segregated college housing involves colleges and universities creating dorms that are segregated by race, religion or national origin. It does not involve single-sex living units, because colleges have traditionally separated residents based on gender. The historic rationale for such units was to establish "safe spaces" for a particular set of students so that they can bond outside of the presence of non-group members. Although segregated housing is generally prohibited by the federal Fair Housing Act and local civil rights acts, some colleges have tried to claim that these units are actually special-interest living units for students of any background that happen to share an interest in Black Studies, Latino culture, Native American studies, or some other academic pursuit.
Stanford University offers theme and program houses, including Chicanx/Latinx Focus, Native American Focus, Asian American Focus and Black Culture Focus. Stanford's Ujamaa (Black Culture Focus) house official description includes:
People from all backgrounds, experiences, and interests make Ujamaa their home. While a great deal of the educational programming that occurs in the dorm centers around issues impacting Black Culture and Black communities, the dorm is in no way centered exclusively on the experience of black students.
To be eligible to live in Stanford's Asian American Focus, a student must "Demonstrate knowledge or experience related to the theme that they can share with residents." So a non-Asian-American student has to demonstrate knowledge of Asian American culture that is equal to or superior to that of the actual experience of an Asian-American student if they wish to be selected to live there.
- https://resed.stanford.edu/get-involved/pre-assignment/participating-houses Retrieved Sept. 7, 2017
- https://resed.stanford.edu/residences/find-house/ujamaa Retrieved Sept.7, 2017.
- https://resed.stanford.edu/residences/find-house/okada Retrieved Sept. 7, 2017.
- "Civil Rights Leader Says California College’s Segregated Dorms Violate Federal", September 8, 2017. Retrieved on September 8, 2017.