â€œ ‘This university has stolen my mental health.’ … ‘You want me to pay full tuition that those white students are paying, for what? For a university that stole my mental health? I hate it here.’
Another student yelled ‘I hate it here,’ and protesters joined him in chanting these words.”
Campus Reform reports that the students’ key demand is for self-segregation.
The Chancellor at Syracuse University has stated that he will actively work with a group of students who have issued several demands meant to address a racism issue at the school, including the institution of a new policy that would require students be offered an option to choose that their roommate share the same race.
The demand to allow “students of color” to elect not to room with students of other races was one of several such demands issued by a group of protesting students who aired their concerns about racism on campus during an ongoing sit-in. Syracuse Chancellor Kent Syverud spoke at the sit-in in a live-streamed exchange.
Calling themselves â€œ#NotAgainSU,â€ this group of protestors is calling for the chancellor to resign if he does not sign a document conceding to the list of demands by Wednesday. Even before the given deadline, over 1,000 protesters have already petitioned for his resignation online.
â€œThe general consensus is that black students, and weâ€™re talking specifically on behalf of Black students, may feel safer and better rooming with other Black students rather than saying the same race has an implementation of a profile system or a portal system. That includes interests as well as race,â€ a representative of the student protesters said during the meeting. …
Syracuse University students increased their list of demands after racist graffiti was found in a student dormitory on Nov. 7. The following week, more racist graffiti was found in the campus physics building, along with two swastikas found elsewhere, and an anonymous email sent to Student Association members justifying the incidents.
The university also recently announced their suspension of all social activities within Greek Life for the rest of the semester, after some members of a fraternity hurled a â€œverbal racial epithetâ€ at an African American Student. Other reports have surfaced of people using racist slurs against individual students.
Among the additional demands is the insistence that the university change its anti-harassment policy to a zero-tolerance policy for â€œhate speech.â€ Syverud told the crowd of protestors that he has spoken with people who believe there is a â€œhazy, unclear line between free speech and hate speech,â€ and that he is not going to take a position on this policy at the moment.
Students are also demanding that the university spend $1 million on the creation of a â€œunified, required curriculum that educates students on diversity issues, specifically anti-racism.â€ Syverud has already agreed to this demand, stating his belief is that â€œrequired staffers and planning are not going to be under $1million.â€
The university already spent $5 million on a social justice center in 2018.
The protesters are also calling on the university to institute a clause in all new contracts with faculty and staff that mandates diversity training with â€œnew diversity hires,â€ and for a student-led reform of an existing mandatory diversity course for first-year students. …
The students have occupied Syracuse Universityâ€™s Barns Center since Nov. 13. They plan to remain in the building all day and night until Wednesday.
â€œParticipation in a peaceful protest given the events that have happened and the dialogue that needs to continue should not be subject to any discipline,â€ said Chancellor Syverud.
The protestors enjoyed a visit from an emotional support dog and were provided with pizza by the university. Someone even brought toy blocks for students to play with. Protesters continue to shout-down university administrators when they try to field their questions.
â€œLetâ€™s talk about spending $23,000 to have Sean Spicer come here,â€ one student yelled, referring to the university funding the College Republicans’ hosting Sean Spicer this coming spring. â€œThatâ€™s gonna make me uncomfortable.â€
â€œThis university has stolen my mental health,â€ she added. â€œYou want me to pay full tuition that those white students are paying, for what? For a university that stole my mental health? I hate it here.â€
Another student yelled â€œI hate it here,â€ and protesters joined him in chanting these words.
â€œMy girlfriend could tell you how many times I sat down and cried in her f*cking arms,â€ he shouted.
A third student sitting in the crowd complained that she was supposed to be taught a course on â€œCritical Whiteness,” but that â€œall [her] white professor did was make microaggressions to [her].â€