Several recent studies have found that being randomly (随机地) assigned to a roommate of another race can lead to increased tolerance but also to a greater likelihood (可能性)of conflict.
Recent reports found that lodging with a student of a different race may decrease prejudice and compel students to engage in more ethnically diverse friendships.
An Ohio State University study also found that black students living with a white roommate saw higher academic success throughout their college careers. Researchers believe this may be caused by social pressure.
In a New York Times article, Sam Boakye – the only black student on his freshman year floor -said that "if you're surrounded by whites, you have something to prove."
Researchers also observed problems resulting from pairing interracial students in residences.
According to two recent studies, randomly assigned roommates of different races are more likely to experience conflicts so strained that one roommate will move out.
An Indiana University study found that interracial roommates were three times as likely as two white roommates to no longer live together by the end of the semester.
Grace Kao, a professor at Penn said she was not surprised by the findings. "This may be the first time that some of these students have interacted, and lived, with someone of a different race," she said.
At Penn, students are not asked to indicate race when applying for housing.
"One of the great things about freshman housing is that, with some exceptions, the process throws you together randomly," said Undergraduate Assembly chairman Alec Webley. "This is the definition of integration."
"I've experienced roommate conflicts between interracial students that have both broken down stereotypes and reinforced stereotypes," said one Penn resident advisor (RA). The RA of two years added that while some conflicts "provided more multicultural acceptance and melding (融合)," there were also "jarring cultural confrontations."
The RA said that these conflicts have also occurred among roommates of the same race.
Kao said she cautions against forming any generalizations based on any one of the studies, noting that more background characteristics of the students need to be studied and explained. 【題組】61. What does Grace Kao say about interracial lodging?
(A) It is unscientific to make generalizations about it without further study.
(B) Schools should be cautious when making decisions about student lodging.
(C) Students' racial background should be considered before lodging is assigned.
(D) Experienced resident advisors should be assigned to handle the problems.