November 4, 2003  
Volume 97, Issue 36  

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Club hides, Gazette seeks

When students opened their Western e-mail in-boxes two weeks ago and found an invitation from CaucasianClubUWO, a new Yahoo! discussion group, alarm bells immediately went off.

The club is not part of the University Students’ Council clubs system; with no Clubs Week booth and no recognition, the club is essentially in the control of no one but its membership and its supposed leader, “diversitysnow/Lara Love.” The club, despite its name, exists nowhere but in Cyberspace; and in the last 48 hours, the name has changed to “CaucasianClubWesternOntario.”

While the group’s initial invitation claimed the club “celebrate[s] diversity, inclusiveness and racial understanding,” it immediately followed this with a disclaimer: “Please don’t be mistaken by the naming of the club. We are actually inclusive and we celebrate multi-culturalism and tolerance.”

Any club purporting to discuss racial issues in the same breath it uses to call itself “Caucasian” is setting itself up for investigation: as many posts in the discussion group have asked, why not name it, for instance, the “Diversity Club?”

Apart from its existence outside the USC and its use of Western’s name, the message board has indeed brought forth some diverse viewpoints, including posts entitled “This Day in Caucasian History” and some from a member of the controversial Euro-American Issues Forum, a group centred in Washington state, as well as more moderate members — many of whom have left the group in the face of heated discussion.

Snow/Love, as the moderator of the group, is the only one with any control over the message board’s content and as a result, has been censoring messages deemed controversial or inflammatory by no one but “her”self.

Snow/Love, to maintain any legitimacy for her club, must refuse the anonymity afforded by the Internet. She has refused interviews to both The Gazette and professors in the faculty of information and media studies and chooses which questions about the club to even post, let alone answer.

If Snow/Love wants to be afforded the respect and trust USC-ratified clubs receive and not be suspected of running a racist club, she should step out from behind the smoke screen.

Evidently, the club would be confronted with hard questions to answer if it underwent the rigours of the club ratification standards with such a hot-button name, but so too must any legitimate club on campus.

Being a club defined by race is not intrinsically wrong, as many all-inclusive and USC-ratified racial and ethnic clubs have repeatedly shown; diversitysnow/Lara Love, your unwillingness to run a campus club in the public eye doesn’t convince us.

Why not ask the USC to ratify you? Why not give us a call back? Why not tell us your real name?

Or, in short, what type of mandate are you hiding?



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