I guess Yale might be on the radar as well...
Yale Students March for Racial Justice Amid Recent Tensions
Thousands of Yale students, faculty and staff took to the streets of New Haven in a "march of resitance" on Monday, calling for racial justice after complaints of racial tensions at the prestigious Ivy League institution in recent weeks.
About 2,000 people in the Yale community participated in the march that started at the Afro American Cultural Center on campus and ended at the Bass Library. The purpose of it was to protest what they are calling injustices against minorities on campus. Students held signs saying they're standing up against racism.
This comes just days after the university president and a dean, as well as other school officials, met with dozens of students on Thursday to discuss concerns in the wake of a fiery exchange about "culturally offensive" Halloween costumes as well as allegations that a fraternity recently held a "white girls only" party.
Other issues at hand, according students, are injustices they've witnessed when it comes to hiring and the lack of diversity among tenured professors and faculty on the track to get tenure.
Marchers chanted, "We out here, we've been here, we ain't leaving, we are loved" throughout the protest.
“We planned this demonstration so that students know there is a community, they physically see each other’s support and solidarity and can move forward together," Cathleen Melissa Calderon, a Yale junior, said.
The debate over Halloween costumes — such as "blackface and turbans" — that could be considered culturally insensitive, came after the university's Intercultural Affairs Council sent an email to students before Halloween, asking them to be cognizant of the "cultural implications" of their costumes.
The other issue includes allegations that the Yale chapter of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity threw a "white girls only" party and denied classmates entry based on their race. The fraternity has denied the allegations and called them "deeply disheartening."
On Monday, students, carrying signs, with messages including, “I Stand With My Sisters“ and “United We Stand,” said they are marching for racial justice, but declined interviews.
"We are unstoppable, another Yale is possible," students chanted.
"It is time for a change in strategy. It is a time for student power," one person proclaimed.
Prior to the march President Peter Salovey addressed the back-to-back issues in a letter to the student body, saying the conversation he had with students about the allegations left him “deeply troubled” and said the university must “act to create at Yale greater inclusion, healing, mutual respect, and understanding.”
The racial argument flared up around Halloween. After the Intercultural Affairs Council email was sent out, Yale lecturer Erika Christakis fired back with an email defending "students' rights to wear potentially offensive costumes as an expression of free speech," according to The Yale Daily News.
"I know that many decent people have proposed guidelines on Halloween costumes from a spirit of avoiding hurt and offense," Erika Christakis wrote in an email to the students of Sillman College. The full email was posted by TheFire.org. "I laud those goals, in theory, as most of us do. But in practice, I wonder if we should reflect more transparently, as a community, on the consequences of an institutional (which is to say: bureaucratic and administrative) exercise of implied control over college students."
Then came the alleged "white girls only" party. After student protests and media attenton, brothers at Sigma Alpha Epsilon released a statement denying that anyone was turned away from their party on the basis of race. They said they support all efforts to "highlight perceived discrimination" and that they "harbor no resentment" over the claim.
"We do regret, however, that a more thorough investigation into these claims did not occur before allegations were made," said the fraternity's statement from last week.
"Remember that Yale belongs to all of you, and you all deserve the right to enjoy the good of this place, without worry, without threats, and without intimidation. I don't expect Yale to be a place free from disagreements or even intense argument; I expect you to disagree on a wide range of issues. In so many ways, this is the purpose of our institution: to teach us how to ask difficult questions about even our most sacrosanct ideas. While we do this, however, we must support each other," he said in a statement.
Participants also claim the university hasn't done enough to hire and retain minority professors. Just last week, Yale administrators announced a $50 million effort to recruit more minority faculty.
“I think it’s pretty telling that Yale’s response to all of these issues is to throw money at them," Charles Decker, a Yale graduate student, said.
Decker is a political science PhD candidate at Yale and said he's only one of 24 black male students in the arts and sciences graduate program. He doesn't see a future in New Haven once he finishes school.
"Until Yale actually takes steps to retain faculty of color once they get there I have a hard time imagining being here professionally," Decker said.
NBC Connecticut reached out to Yale for comment, but we haven't heard back.We also reached out to the mayor's office and were told that Mayor Toni Harp is respecting Yale's autonomy in the city regarding university matters and declining to comment.
Graduate students have been working to unionize to get a negotiating table with Yale Brass to talk about many of the issues, but that effort hasn't proven to be successful.