AU agrees to extension on exams, 'sanctuary' for students of color
American University has agreed to give students of color an extension on final exams and establish “a sanctuary for people of color” following a racist incident on campus.
According to The Black Print, about 50 students demonstrated Friday afternoon to protest the administration’s failure to address a list of demands issued by students in response to the racially-motivated hanging of bananas on campus recently, even causing a traffic jam by blocking off access to a parking garage.
“For the remaining [sic] of the semester, the Bridge will become a sanctuary for people of color.”
“For the remaining [sic] of the semester, the Bridge will become a sanctuary for people of color,” the ultimatum begins, referring to a student cafe and lounge on campus.
Students also demanded that “All POC [persons of color] students get extensions, and should not be penalized for already scheduled finals after the incident,” arguing that the racist incident on campus has distressed many students to the point that they are unable to focus on exams.
The final demand calls for a “separate investigation team based out of the university (composed of a group of non-biased expert contractors) that can investigate cases of racism and discrimination brought against the institution of American University.”
The Eagle reports that AU Provost Scott Bass arrived at the demonstration professing ignorance of the student ultimatum, but agreed to each of the conditions after reviewing it for several minutes.
Bass also told the protesters the university also signed a contract with Ibram X. Kendi, author of Stamped From the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America, to create an anti-racism center on campus, assuring the demonstrators that “There’s nothing more important, in terms of my administration, than being a multicultural campus.”
The concessions were enough to satisfy the protesters, who moved away from the parking garage chanting “We are AU!” to celebrate their victory.
Bass, though, declared that meeting the demands “is just a minimum” and “doesn’t stop our commitment to do more,” saying he looks forward to discussing matters further with black student leaders on Monday.
Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @kara_kirsten