Students demand universities provide Black student-only housing
A student-led task force at New York University demanded that the administration provide Black student only student housing.
The Black Student Association of Rice University previously demanded funding for a “Black House.”
Students at both New York University and Rice University have demanded that their schools implement spaces on their respective campuses intended only for Black students.
Washington Square News reported that a student-led task force called “Black Violets” created a petition demanding that NYU offer Black student-only housing. The petition has garnered more than 1,000 signatures.
The creators of the petition are self-identified Black students who say they are fortunate they got to live at NYU together. They want residential floors that contain only Black students and Black resident assistants.
“Through our personal experience, we recognize the value of living with another Black student and having a safe space where we felt free to express ourselves to the highest degree,” the petition stated. “Too often in the classroom and in residential life, Black students bear the brunt of educating their uninformed peers about racism. This assumed responsibility is exhausting and undoubtedly unfair to NYU’s Black community.”
The petition further explained that Black students should not be tasked with “advocating for their humanity within their own homes.”
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Other demands included “Black Programming” residential events, along with required bias training before students can reside in NYU housing.
New York University spokesman John Beckman responded to WSN and the petition by saying, “We appreciate the petition authors’ position. Res Life staff have reached out to the authors of the petition to discuss how we might move forward with their goals.”
The Black Student Association of Rice University also issued a list of demands to the administration, including the funding and creation of a “Black House.”
“We demand that Rice invest in creating a non-residential Black House that has all the features of a residential college but is specifically made for Black students and Black organizations to congregate and hold events,” the list stated.
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Other association demands included the “decolonization of Rice’s entire curriculum,” the removal of the statue of namesake William Marsh Rice, and the honoring of Black student requests to be roomed with other black students.
The push for segregated housing on college campuses has been bubbling up for some time. In 2019, Campus Reform sat down for an exclusive interview with Dion Pierre, the author of a report published by the National Association of Scholars, which looked at "neo-segregation," specifically at Yale University.
The report stated that from 1964 up to that point, "many American colleges and universities that initially sought to achieve racial integration found themselves inadvertently on a path to a new form of racial segregation...in the new form of segregation (neo-segregation).
In "neo-segregation," the reported continued, "colleges eagerly recruit Black and other minority students, but actively foster campus arrangements that encourage these students to form separate social groups on campus.”
“Yale’s efforts at racial integration turned into a program that inspired and reinforced racial separatism and ultimately racial neo-segregation. This did not happen all at once, but through a series of steps that involved a constantly changing cast of characters, institutional arrangements, and initiatives," the report added.
Watch the full interview:
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