Letter to the editor defends decision to reject student gov nominee because he is straight white male

Timothy Dionisopoulos
Former Reporter

A Northwestern University student penned a letter to the school newspaper last Sunday in defense of the Student Senate’s decision to block a nominee for student government because he is a “heterosexual white male.”

Nominee Stephen Piotrkowski’s bid for the associate vice president of diversity and outreach was derailed earlier this month after students claimed he could not effectively serve a diverse constituency because of his gender, race, and sexuality.

While the Student Senate was largely condemned for using Piotrkowski’s status as a straight white male to block his confirmation, Northwestern student Paul Jackson thought the body’s actions were justified.

“[A]s a white male, Piotrkowski has enjoyed the privilege of not having to meaningfully encounter multicultural communities and leaders,” wrote Jackson in a letter to the editor published in the Daily Northwestern this past Sunday.

He added that “being white does not disqualify you from leading a diversity board, but being out of touch with anything other than white spaces, white faces and white social graces and making no effort to change that most certainly disqualifies you.”

Jackson’s letter to the editor has ignited a heated debate with over fifty responses in the comments section, many of which were critical of his position.

“Your rhetoric often divides people rather than connecting them. Your contradictions (telling people to aspire to get involved ---> this Steven guy clearly was trying to get involved) are flabbergasting,” says one response.

Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @TimPDion.

Timothy Dionisopoulos

Timothy Dionisopoulos

Former Reporter
Tim Dionisopoulos is a former reporter for Campus Reform and communications editor in the Leadership Institute's Campus Leadership Program. Tim joined Campus Reform in the summer of 2011, and his stories were cited or re-posted on the Daily Mail, the Drudge Report, Fox News, and other national media outlets. Tim graduated in 2011 from Providence College in Rhode Island where he was politically active on campus and in the community.
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