The Student – ‘Letter to the Editor’

Primary source material reproduced from ‘Letter to the Editor’, The Student, 26/10/1905.

Dear Sir,

I was told some time ago that the ‘University Hall’ did not admit any coloured people as residents. I could hardly believe the statement, but a reply to a friend of mine who applied for a room from the Secretaries of the Hall to the same effect convinced me of its truth.

Of course the University Hall has a perfect right to preserve its precincts from the contamination of coloured people quite as much as the orthodox Brahmin has to keep his sacred temples free from pollution by ‘Yavanas’ of all colours. What surprises me most is, however, that there should be found among University students some, to whom apparently the white colour is presumably a sign of godliness and good behaviour, just as to the common Chinese it is equally presumably a sign of – of something exactly opposite.

However, I have neither the audacity nor the intention to dispute the sacred untinted traditions of the University Hall. But as I know of a few cases of such unsuccessful applications by coloured students, I would venture to make a suggestion to the Secretaries to make a corresponding note of the tradition in their booklet, copies of which are so copious in the Union. It would surely save some trouble to themselves as well as to their coloured ‘excommunicated’ if they would, say, put in a line on the top cover, thus:- ‘Coloured men not admitted.’

Finally I hope the authorities would kindly take note of this suggestion even though it comes from A COLOURED STUDENT.