There is a firestorm of Black student protests sweeping across America’s predominately White colleges. Black students are uniting against systemic racism and hostile campus environments. The most recent protest in the news was at the University of Missouri, which led to the resignation of its president Tim Wolfe. Now, Black students at the prestigious Ivy League school Yale University are in the news.
The racist atmosphere was exposed during a recent Halloween party held at the Sigma Alpha Epsilon Fraternity house. According to multiple students, members of the fraternity were not allowing Black girls into the party. When students protested the wearing of racially offensive costumes such as blackface or turbans, they were met with opposition by a faculty member. Residence Hall Administrator Erika Christakis sent out an email that stated in part, “Is there no room anymore for a child or young person to be a little bit obnoxious. A little bit inappropriate or provocative or, yes, offensive? American universities were once a safe space not only for maturation but also for a certain regressive, or even transgressive, experience; increasingly, it seems, they have become places of censure and prohibition.”
The students have had enough and took to the campus with cries of “We out here. We’ve been here. We ain’t leaving. We are loved” and marched from the Afro-American Cultural Center to the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity house. University President Peter Salovey has stated that he’s “deeply troubled” by the atmosphere on campus and has met with students. In addition, he is calling for “inclusion, healing, mutual respect and understanding” at Yale.