Black Students United gather a rally for DACA students in September. Following the assault of a black student in Collegetown, Black Student organizations from schools in the Ivy League have voiced solidarity for BSU.

Cameron Pollack / Sun Photography Editor

Black Students United gather a rally for DACA students in September. Following the assault of a black student in Collegetown, Black Student organizations from schools in the Ivy League have voiced solidarity for BSU.

September 19, 2017

Ivies Stand With Black Students United at Cornell After Assault

Print More

In response to the assault Friday evening in which a Cornell student said he was attacked and called the N-word, black student organizations around the Ivy League have voiced their solidarity with Black Students United at Cornell.

The Harvard Black Students Association, the Black Student Union at Brown and the Black Student Alliance of Yale University all posted statements of solidarity with Cornell BSU and called for action from Cornell University in response to Friday’s events.

“During a time in which we continue to see the lives of people of color neglected and ignored, we hope to see significant action from Cornell to promote healing and reconciliation among the student and Ithaca communities,” Yale BSA’s statement read. “We also call on our campus, Yale University, to put forth as many resources and educational programs as possible to ensure that such actions never take place on our campus.”

Black Student Union at Brown posted the statement from BSU at Cornell and said that it “stands in solidarity with the student who was attacked as well as the Black Students United at Cornell University,” in its statement.

For Hasani Hayden ’19, president of Harvard BSA, publishing a statement of solidarity was “the only responsible thing as another black organization at a similar university,” he said.

Delma Fears ’19, co-chair of Black Students United, said it was both “heartening and disheartening” to see other universities’ BSUs lend their support to black students at Cornell.

“I’m glad people are standing in solidarity, but it’s also sad that this moment makes people think of other hate crimes on their campuses,” Fears said.

Harvard Black Students Association has additionally planned a rally for Wednesday afternoon “in support of our Black peers at Cornell,” BSA’s statement read.

“Our plans are to have a rally on this Wednesday and to call attention to this nationwide debate of what is free speech,” Hayden told The Sun.“We’re hoping that Cornell does see merit in our argument that they reform, that they make an amendment to their free speech clause.”

In the recent days, Cornell’s Student Assembly has considered actions regarding free speech on campus, proposing a push to ban “hate speech” on campus. At a community input session in Collegetown Sunday night, members of Student Assembly discussed these plans with other students.

Hayden said he hopes Harvard’s rally on Wednesday will compel Cornell to consider reform to their policy on hate speech — an issue that Hayden said Harvard students are demanding from their own administration as well.

“For [the students involved] not to be held accountable for using what is like vocalized violence or verbal violence, for them not to be held accountable for that due to free speech, is unacceptable,” Hayden said. “Hate speech is not something that we can claim should be tolerated on one of the most intellectual campuses in the world at Cornell.”

Hayden cited other occasions in his undergraduate experience where universities nationwide acted in solidarity — such as with University of Missouri in 2015 — saying that moments such as these are times when “the entire nation paid attention to what students at these institutions were saying.”

Similar to the aim of Harvard BSA’s rally, Black Student Alliance at Yale called on “Cornell’s senior administration to demonstrate leadership, aggressively investigate this incident and punish those accountable for this heinous act,” its statement read.

“[We’re] thankful that the student still has his life. We’re thankful that it seems like a majority of people are on the side of justice in the situation and that the majority of people agree that what happened at Cornell should never happen again to another student,” Hayden said. “And the fact that clause exists is almost embarrassing in 2017 that wasn’t protected.”

  • Ezra Tank

    Have we heard from the White Student Unions at those schools yet? I hope they get behind this as well!

    • Brooklyn Swinga

      Hold my beer..

    • It’s really hard being white in this majority white state. We need a student organization supporting us :'(

  • John Blutarsky

    “Called for action from Cornell University in response to Friday’s events” – meanwhile BSU members wear black to scare and intimidate other students, disrupt other non-related student organizations, and bring your clenched fist (see the poster they are advertising).

    This is NOT what Cornell needs. The BSU is hateful, disruptive, anti Semitic, and advertising violence – I hope the administration has the courage to recognize and remove them.

    • Brooklyn Swinga

      Have they beaten anybody up yet? Cause the way you describe them sounds like a gang.. and you shoukd be scared!

    • Isn’t the whole point of protest to be disruptive? How can black students on campus be anything but outraged right now?

      • mma_ko

        I’m sure all the parents are so pleased that they’re getting their money’s worth. Cornell should give a 30% discount for the loss learning for allowing this disruptive nonsense. You want to protest? Go to a park and set up .. don’t disrupt those who actually want to learn and have careers in their future.

  • Happy Jack

    Just so we know who we’re dealing with, demand of BSU a statement about Louis Farrakhan and the Nation of Islam.

    I ask this because the Black Students Assoc. @ UC Berkeley paid Farrakhan to come to their campus to promote a book which blames Jews for controlling the world.

    • Brooklyn Swinga

      People have been saying that forever. Farrakhan is Jealous and envious … so petty. He can only dream to have an ounce of what jews have.

  • John Blutarsky

    Attire: ALL BLACK! (Dog whistle for —- this is a black only protest – others not welcome) Racism should NOT be met with more racism. BSU needs to be exposed for what they are – a black nationalist, anti-Semitic group that wants to intimidate other students and the University as a whole. They are not constructive and not good for Cornell.

  • Guy

    and yet 10 people were shot and killed in Chicago this weekend…most likely by young black males shooting other blacks…and well no one cares. In my state young blacks males 15-40 are 4% of the population and yet they commit 70% of the murders….mostly other blacks….why don’t we care about these?
    I abhor all violence…but racism is alive when you believe a black person being beaten up is worse than, well anyone else being beaten up! I really don’t understand what a hate crime is….if someone is murdered….is a white hetero male less valuable than a “protected” class of person?

    Justice should be blind…and the CRIME should be tried…if you killed someone…pretty sure there was “hate” involved! If you attack someone…anyone…you should be tried, vandalism should be should be tried….if I burn your house down….does it make a difference my reasoning? If I bully someone I should be arrested…regardless of the reason. Harassment is a CRIME! You have really gone off the rails and perpetuate the very racism you claim to abhor.

    Tell me the pecking order of which citizens deserve more protection and which are worth less?

    • Death Mainiac

      You sir do not give a fuck about black males being killed by black males. You also do not give a fuck about the fact that someone got assaulted. But sure go on and bring up numbers and proclaim whilst you sit on your high throne that the welfare of the black community ignites flame within your heart. Stop acting like you care, you don’t .

  • ApplePi

    There is so much racism in the comment section that I can’t even believe my eyes. I’m sorry but is this an Ivy League newspaper or Breitbart comment section? Each and every person making these outrageous comments should be ashamed of themselves. None of you even attempt to sound reasonable, you just start spewing your vitriolic hate from the beginning. I urge you to take a critical view of your own statements from the perspective of the people affected. If you do so, I think you will find that your statements are aggressive, fallacious, and further the point that racism is indeed alive and well at the elite institutions. However, I am sure you will deny all this since it is easier than to consider the alternatives.

    • Ezra Tank

      Who is posting racist comments? I started the comments out by pointing out the fact that forming a Student Union then naming it the BLACK Student Union is the very definition of racism they should be fighting.

      No one else posted anything else. Please don’t take the lazy leftist approach of labeling anything you disagree with “racism”. If you disagree with someone then post a counter argument.