Black Students United is encouraging students to wear black in support on Tuesday and said the group will be “interrupting” Tuesday’s University Assembly meeting.

Black Students United at Cornell Unviersity via Facebook

Black Students United is encouraging students to wear black in support on Tuesday and said the group will be “interrupting” Tuesday’s University Assembly meeting.

September 18, 2017

BSU Calls for Cornell Students to Wear Black, Rally at University Assembly Meeting on Tuesday

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After declaring a “state emergency for black students” following the assault of a black Cornell junior in Collegetown on Friday, Black Students United is encouraging students to wear black on Tuesday and said the group will be “interrupting” Tuesday’s University Assembly meeting.

BSU said in a statement that the University Assembly was responsible for creating the Campus Code of Conduct, which the group said “is a key instrument in protecting white supremacists from receiving consequences for using hate speech by declaring their words as an exercise of their freedom of speech.”

The group said it “will be difficult to change” the Code, but that “with the help of the entire community, we can attend the meeting and make a solid effort in securing the safety of black students on campus.” More than 70 students had indicated on Facebook that they were interested in attending the rally by press time on Monday evening.

“We want people to show up in support of Black Students United as we continue to hold the administration accountable,” Delmar Fears ’19, a co-chair of BSU, told The Sun.

BSU Executive Board members said in an interview over the weekend that they were considering attempting to add language to the Code restricting “hate speech.” Some members were frustrated by a meeting with Vijay Pendakur, the dean of students, they said, in part because Pendakur emphasized that the University could not punish students for “hate speech.”

Gabriel Kaufman ’18, chair of the U.A., said he looked forward to hearing the concerns of BSU members and other students at the meeting at 4:30 p.m. in 701 Clark Hall on Tuesday.

“We’re delighted that the community has taken an interest in our business and we look forward to a productive discussion with members of the community tomorrow,” Kaufman said, adding that the assembly had allotted time on its agenda to hear students’ concerns related to the Friday morning assault.

A Cornell student has been arrested relating to the assault, in which a black student said he was called the N-word and repeatedly punched by a group of four or five white men. The arrested student is 19 years old and white, The New York Times reported. Police have not yet released his identity. Some Cornell students questioned why the student has not been charged with a hate crime.

The student who said he was assaulted — a member of Kappa Sigma — spoke to The Sun on Friday from a local hospital, where he was being checked for a possible concussion and broken nose. Both of those tests were negative.

President Martha Pollack on Sunday released a series of steps meant to improve the campus climate, including creating a task force “charged with examining and addressing persistent problems of bigotry and intolerance at Cornell.”

Pollack also said that Cornell “will not consider Psi Upsilon’s reinstatement as an affiliated fraternity.” Several campus groups have implicated members of the revoked fraternity in the assault, a claim the fraternity’s alumni association categorically denied in a statement The Sun.

BSU, in its statement, said community members met in Ujamaa Residential College and reflected after the assault. “There were a number of different emotions, but the one common factor was fear,” BSU said.

“Fear of not knowing what is next to come for black students at Cornell. Fear of another racialized attack on one of our brothers and sisters.”

The group said in the statement that it is planning additional actions for Wednesday. More details will be released soon, BSU said.

“The end goals are to receive justice for the black man who was brutally attacked, improve race relations on this campus, and to see overall positive change,” the group said.

  • Ezra Tank

    I wonder if the WHITE STUDENT UNION will be there to support them?

  • Jay Wind

    A lot of the rhetoric currently being voiced by the BSU, LAL and MGLC can be viewed as anti-Semitic. I guarantee that if a speech code is adopted, those groups will be brought up before the Judicial Administrator. The adoption of a speech code will only make the climate on campus worse.

    • Jonathan Pomboza

      anti-Israel apartheid is not anti-semitic. that is a false equivalency.

  • Thomas Sowell

    Why does BSU have to be so militant with their tactics? If they want to be taken seriously they cannot just barge in wherever they want and cause a racket.

    • Anna Waymack

      Respectfully, Mr. Sowell, they’re not barging in. The University Assembly invited them, and they have space on our agenda. Given our mission of shared governance, we’re pleased to see such interest from the community–albeit appalled by the incident prompting this discussion.

      • Manny Ramirez

        He was probably just responding to the article, which states, “….the group will be “interrupting” Tuesday’s University Assembly meeting.”

  • John Blutarsky

    This is a black nationalist, anti-Semitic group that wears black to scare and intimidate other students. Additionally they hide behind the racism card every chance they can. They are very indicative of black lives matter. The media calls what they are doing “protest” – I do not consider wearing black, bringing weapons, looting and casing physical damage to property protesting. I call it RIOTING.

    Cornell does not need these types of violent hate groups on campus. I hope the administration has the courage to recognize and remove them.

  • Manny Ramirez

    “State of emergency”??? Really? My main problem with BSU/BLM etc… is that they distort the narrative using wild exaggerations. As stated in an article linked from this one, a student ponders whether or not they are safe walking home from class at night, or even at their own parties. I’d say you’re just as safe as any other student at Cornell. College campuses are quite possibly the most egalitarian locations on earth. Just because we have a few assholes (like any other place) does NOT mean that the campus as a whole has a race issue. Unfortunately, even the administration has been complicit in perpetuating this myth. Since I’ve been at Cornell I’ve been thoroughly impressed with the degree to which students of different backgrounds, race, etc…… are able to hang out together and just see each other as humans. I’ve never seen this sort of phenomenon any where else. If these students think Cornell is an ‘unsafe’ place, they’re going to have a very hard time dealing with life

  • Pingback: Hijacking: Anti-Israel language in Cornell Student Assembly statement about racial incidents - The Right Side of News()

  • mma_ko

    Maybe there should be equal outrage that the rape case again Eaglin was “dismissed”, and press coverage kept to a minimum. Hmmmm.