Students at Syracuse University are demanding that the school intensify their response to racial bias incidents after a string of events, one of which involved a Black student who was called a racial slur while at a bus stop on campus Saturday night.
The occurrences have prompted university officials to suspend all social activities for fraternities, as reported by The Washington Post.
Culprits involved in the incident over the weekend were identified through surveillance video, according to School Chancellor Kent Syverud, who sent out a campus-wide email on Sunday with details of the verbal assault. He added that members of a campus fraternity shouted the n-word as a Black, female student walked by. That fraternity was later suspended.
Though students have been disciplined in this particular case, a number of other incidents have gone by with no identifiable suspects or repercussions. Just last week, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo called for state officials to investigate after racial slurs were found in a campus bathroom. The Post reports that Saturday’s event was just one of six racially charged incidents that was disclosed to campus police.
Students have currently taken over a campus hub in an effort to move the university to have greater accountability in response to these occurrences. According to Syracuse’s university paper, The Daily Orange, Black student activists in charge of a #NotAgainSU movement, gave the school a list of nine demands last Wednesday morning following the bathroom incident. On Friday they updated that list to a total of 18 demands that includes allocating funds to help students of color alleviate financial burdens.
The school must also expand and invest in volunteer opportunities that serve low-income communities in the city of Syracuse and offer diversity training for tenured professors on the school website.
Activists have given school administrators until Wednesday to respond.