By | Been Written
Contributing Writer | Telegraph Local
A student group called a group called Black Violets NYU have been floating a petition calling for the creation of Black residence floors on campus next year, according to a Fox News report.
New York University staff and residential groups have reached out to the authors of the petition to signal their openness to the proposal, but there would be much to do before the petition is accepted and granted.
Who are the Black Violets NYU?
On their GoFundMe page, the group called Black Violets NYU describes itself as “a passionate student-led collective wanting to make significant changes on NYU’s campus to celebrate Black culture, create community among Black students in the city, and champion comprehensive Black inclusion.”
Gallatin senior Brenah Johnson and her first-year roommate — who are both Black — noticed that their experience was different from that of their Black peers.
Isn’t This A Form Of Segregation?
Not according to the group.
“There is nothing to protect us,” the CAS student said. “Literally no systems in place. What do you do when your professor is racist and wants to take it out on your grades? Microaggressions in classroom discussions?”
The Black Violets also mentioned that “Our peers responded by sharing their experiences of racism within residence halls, loneliness in classrooms, and joy sparked by friendship and fellowship with other Black students. These responses to our petition encouraged us to push our advocacy forward by creating a student collective and adjoining website.”
Besides Black housing, the group is also demanding that more Black professors are hired, the establishment of a Black Student Engagement Lounge, and other measures.
Will NYU Allow This?
Only time will tell. There’s plenty of backlash going around over the Black Violets NYU demands. “NYU does not have and will not create student housing that excludes any student based on race,” John Beckman, a spokesperson for the university, told Reason.
The main reason NYU would probably not grant the petition is because of the wording. It specifies that the housing must include “floors completely comprised of Black-identifying students with Black Resident Assistants.” If a proposal requires that certain floors only include back students, then it is a proposal for racially segregated housing.
The Change.org petition includes the following wording:
- Floors completely comprised of Black-identifying students with Black Resident Assistants
- Black Programming and In-Hall Events, curated by the RA and the floor community
- Required Bias and Diversity Training for ALL residents before entering NYU housing
- Disciplinary Action for Discriminatory/Racist Behavior within residence halls
- Creation of a Board of Student Leaders in Residential Life Focused on Tackling Issues of Diversity and Racism within Res Halls
Without explaining their demands in more detail, the group will have an uphill battle to justify their reasoning.