Mrican-American male from strict Chris- tian background paired with loud, liberal, gay white man. "They ended up bonding through Nintendo;' laughed senior Sarah Kocz, who recalled that those two students became one of the best roommate pairs on the hall when she participated. "They became really good friends on a day-to- day level, and they remained friends after their time together." One roommate threw a party for the other when he moved off the hall after his year in UNITAS.
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The 'choir' learns, too
So what are they putting in the water
on the fifth floor of Carmichael to pro-
duce such unlikely friends? Not very
much, some have said, arguing that the
students who choose to apply and partici-
pate in UNITAS already are open-
minded, so it is not surprising that the
program has succeeded.
"It's like preaching to the choir," said
Bobbi Owen, who oversaw UNITAS for
the six years she was assistant dean in the
College of Arts and Sciences. "Unfortu-
nately, the people who really need to be
in a program like this - and they are in
the minority on this campus - won't be
a part of it."
But UNITASians, as they like to call
themselves, are quick to counter that
although many of them came to the hall
thinking they were open-minded, they
soon were surprised to learn how narrow
of a world view they had. By living on
the hall, current and former participants
say, they were presented with a safe haven
in which they could explore those stereo-
types. In UNITAS, it was OK to be polit-
ically incorrect, or to share fears and con-
cerns that might be considered taboo in
"It's a chance to learn without getting
yourself in trouble. Someone [on the hall]
once said to me that they thought I was a
thug because I was black," said freshman
Sherrell McMillan, a soft-spoken Fayette-
ville native who eases into his mornings
by listening to Billie Holiday. "At first, I
was like, whoa, should I be lTlad at them
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