SU needs to stop engaging in performative activism because BLM is trending, and instead do all the things outlined in NotAgainSU’s list of demands. #BlackLivesMatter all the time and everywhere - academia included. SU is complicit and must change.
Kevin Varkey, Arlington, MA, United States
2 years ago
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In recent weeks, Syracuse University has continuously given us disingenuous statements in regards to the horrendous murder of George Floyd and has used his death as an opportunity to pat themselves on the back for their supposed dedication to "diversity and inclusion", when in reality, Syracuse University is, and always has been an extremely unsafe campus for Black students to attend. This year alone, students have protested racial injustice on this campus by sleeping in university buildings for 40 days in response to decades of institutional inequities. Syracuse University has been a bastion for institutional violence against its Black students since its inception. Black students have had to fight relentlessly to establish both a presence and equal access to resources on campus. Despite knowingly fostering an environment of exclusion and lack of accountability, Syracuse University continues to refuse to acknowledge its role in perpetuating white supremacy, specifically against its Black students for the sake of good PR and maintaining tuition dollars. In the 2019-2020 academic year alone there were 30+ Bias related incidents confirmed that targeted Black, Asian, Jewish, LGBTQIA+, and students of other marginalized identities. In response to these incidents, as well as the structural violence that Black students specifically suffer at Syracuse University, #NotAgainSU was formed and curated a list of demands to the administration free of charge that would help dismantle institutional racism at Syracuse University. Instead of instituting these demands in good faith, in February of 2020 Syracuse University interim suspended 30+ peaceful student protesters, which disallowed students to attend class or be on school property and face the possibility of arrest, a majority of whom were Black. Additionally, they denied these students access to food, medical supplies, menstrual products, and religious council for three days. These decisions were made in collaboration with Kent Syverud(Chancellor), Amanda Nicholson (Senior Vice President of Enrollment, and the Student Experience), as well as the college Deans. They went on to racially profile and falsely suspend 5 Black women who were not present at the protest. The Department of Public Safety (DPS) was also extremely violent with student protesters inside and outside of Crouse-Hinds Hall where the protest took place, as well as published a threatening police union letter that targeted the safety of #NotAgainSU protesters, which went unaddressed by Syracuse Universities' administration. This is unacceptable, and Black students, alumni, faculty, staff, parents, and docents have had enough. We are calling on Syracuse University to: 1) Address the campus community via Syracuse University News as well as an email to all students, falculty, staff, alumni, parents, and prospective students about the institutional violence that the university has perpetrated against its OWN Black students, specifically addressing the inhumane treatment of #NotAgainSU protesters in February of 2020. (This has already been requested by the organizers of #NotAgainSU, but they were denied) 2) To publicly acknowledge and credit #NotAgainSU for the "Campus Commitments", as well as publicly SIGN the demands that were agreed upon in the negotiations between #NotAgainSU and the administration this past semester. The university should not be able to steal the labor and the ideas of Black students. (This has already been requested by the organizers of #NotAgainSU, but they were denied) 3) Syracuse University must publicly pledge to become an ANTI-RACIST campus. Black members of the Syracuse University community have suffered long enough, we are integral to the campus culture and Syracuse University would be nothing without our continuous contributions, please sign and share this petition so that the university will be forced to address our community and truly commit to INSTITUTIONAL CHANGE. For more information about campus racism please read the statements published by #NotAgainSU as well as the numerous video evidence of documented violence against Black student protesters: Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/notagain.su/?hl=en Twitter: https://twitter.com/notagain_su?lang=en