The NYU College Republicans are about to host a game of 'Find the Illegal Immigrant,' and they're already causing quite a kerfuffle:
(CBS) NEW YORK A controversial "game" being played Thursday at NYU by a Republican student group has sparked accusations of racism and is causing an uproar on campus.
The game, appropriately (or inappropriately, depending on how you look at it) called "Find The Illegal Immigrant," asks participants to search the campus for the "illegal immigrant," and if you do, you'll win a prize. Sponsored by the NYU College Republicans, it's scheduled to be played tomorrow.
"It's racist, and embarrassing for NYU," law student Marcus Amelkin says.
No illegal immigrants are actually involved in the game, organizer Richard Rossi says. Rather, the game is meant to inspire dialogue and it's in that spirit that the university is tolerating it.
Many students, however, are miffed at the school's liberal attitude toward the game.
"I think it's offensive," Eugenia Kuri, a senior at NYU who is an international student from Mexico. "The way they are trying to make their point, a lot of people die trying to cross the border every day. I don't think it should be made a joke of..."
Soto shares the position of the NYU administration who released a statement explaining why they're allowing the game. Spokesman John Beckman writes:
"At universities, providing a forum for the exchange of ideas -- even difficult and unpopular ideas -- is a key mission. We hope the debates will be conducted with respect and civility, and will be driven by an impulse to provoke thought rather than anger. Illegal immigration is a totally appropriate topic for debate, though this event seems principally calculated to produce outraged reaction rather than dialogue.
"Our inclination is always to support free speech. Just as one group of students will conduct this so-called 'game,' others will be protesting it. At a university, this is exactly the kind of outcome we hope for from engaged students and scholars..."
Although this 'game' has been played before at other campuses, I don't know the details of it. Be that as it may, how can it be - on its face - racist? Don't illegal immigrants include members of many races?
And if one is concerned about people dying crossing the border, isn't the proper response to try to prevent illegal immigration? To complain about a 'game' that draws attention to the issue seems pointless or counter-productive.
Credit to NYU by the way, for having an even-handed approach to controversial topics.