Center of the Week: Straight, White Men's Center

Are you Black, Latinx, Asian, queer and/or a veteran? If so, there are a host of multicultural student centers through which you can find support on campus. This center, however, is not for you.

The Straight White Men’s Center (or SWM) is an on-campus organization dedicated to catering to the unique needs of straight, white men. “It’s a really open and welcoming space,” says center coordinator Blake Brendon, “and not just for white guys, you know—we really try to be accepting to all people, like just the other day a black guy stumbled in looking for the restroom and we were so friendly, we all went around in a circle and asked him why he was black.”

Even though straight white guys have been prominent on campus since the beginning, SWM is actually the youngest multicultural student center at the school. It all started late 2016, when center founder Billy Baker asked the simple question: if everyone else has student centers, why shouldn’t we? After getting all his friends on board, Baker quickly established SWM, which has been going strong ever since. When asked about his experience starting the center, Baker stated, “The fact that a bunch of us white guys were able do this, to step into a field where we weren’t represented at all, and after just two years become such a strong presence on campus is a testament to what us white guys can do if we just come together.”

Today SWM’s main focus is on bringing straight, white men together. To this effect, the center puts on a great variety of events throughout the year, like their upcoming biannual “Is it Racist?” panel, where member Bruce Bronson brings his black friend and all the straight, white guys get to ask whether various things are actually racist, as well as their weekly “No Homo” meet-up, where straight white men are given a safe place to hug each other without becoming gay.

Freshman Bob Biscuit expressed his fondness for SWM, stating that, “being a part of this has really changed my life. It’s a great place where I can go and, without fear of shame, just be white.” When asked what ‘just being white’ means, Biscuit declined to comment.

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