The Black Student Alliance has spoken in support of black students and activists at the University of Missouri and Yale University.
Following campus unrest over a series of discriminatory event on campus, University of Missouri student group known as “Concerned Student 1950” has published a list of demands for the university, including an increase in black faculty members and increased funding for minority programming.
BSA released a statement on Wednesday afternoon. It comes after “a series of hateful, racially motivated statements and events” on the campuses of the two universities, according to the remarks.
This list of demands echoes demands made at U.Va. and universities across the nation, said
BSA President Aryn Frazier, a third-year College student. The statement of support was intended as a show of solidarity.
In the statement, BSA specifically thanks students at the two universities for their work towards change.
“Their feelings, their actions, and their demands are neither isolated nor overreaching,” the statement reads. “On the contrary, these students have articulated the concerns and desired changes for which Black students throughout the country and throughout time have advocated.”
University of Virginia President Teresa Sullivan told The Cavalier Daily that she has followed events at the University of Missouri and Yale University in the news, but doesn’t have any special knowledge beyond what has been reported.
“It seems to me that the problem began a long time ago, and probably had something to do with the fact that Ferguson is geographically close,” Sullivan said. “A lot of the students at [the University of Missouri] were from areas near Ferguson, so they knew the area and were no doubt very interested in that.”
The BSA statement also encourages students to remain safe during a potentially dangerous time.
“Please, keep safe — but do not think safe,” the statement reads. “Think determined; think principled...As some act recklessly and dangerously, as they attempt to tear you down, to scare you into submission, remember that they do so out of desperation.”
This recommendation goes beyond an awareness of clear and present threats to physical safety, Frazier said.
“Quite literally on their campus, there were threats to their physical safety,” Frazier said. “But I think more generally, you never know who exactly is around you. People, when they’ve made themselves visible, should be aware that visibility remains present.”
The rapid escalation of the situation at Yale is difficult to understand, Sullivan said.
“This makes me think is that there’s something else going on under the surface that’s not being reported or not being talked about,” she said. “There’s something else going on there.”
BSA, in conjunction with the University chapter of the NAACP, intends to gather at the “Black Bus Stop” by Monroe Hall Thursday evening to stand in support of these students, in addition to organizing a “Blackout for Mizzou,” encouraging students to wear black as a show of support.
“Those issues that they’re addressing aren’t issues that are just at University of Missouri or just at Yale, those are issues that are here too,” Frazier said. “If any of us take a good look, we’ll realize they’re at just about every university across the country.”