The post on Black Students' United's Facebook page that seeks to clarify their controversial demand was posted on Thursday.

The post on Black Students' United's Facebook page that seeks to clarify their controversial demand was posted on Thursday.

October 13, 2017

Black Students United Responds to Controversy Over Demand

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Black Students United issued a statement on Thursday “apologizing for the delay in response” after one of the 12 demands delivered to President Martha Pollack last month was met with increased controversy, both on and off campus.

The BSU demand, which was not retracted or changed in the statement, called on the Cornell admissions office to increase the presence of “underrepresented Black students,” which it defined as African Americans who have been in the country for more than two generations.

BSU argued in the demands that although international or first generation Caribbean and African students have “a right to flourish” at the University, “Cornell must work to actively support students whose families have been impacted for generations by white supremacy and American fascism.”

“There is a lack of investment in Black students whose families were affected directly by the African Holocaust in America,” the original demand said.

This was considered contradictory by many people both on and off campus.

“Black Student Group Complains Ivy League School Is Letting In Too Many African Students” read a headline from The Daily Caller.

Similar articles critical of the demand also ran in the Atlanta Black Star and Townhall.

“The purpose of the demand was specifically to address the need for an increased presence of underrepresented Black American students at Cornell,” the statement, issued on BSU’s Facebook page, said. “However, upon further reflection and contemplation, we understand both the complexity and contentious nature of our statement, as well as the frustration and anger that was felt by our community as a consequence of our demand.”

The Thursday statement added that BSU aims to support “all members of the African diaspora” and said that it was encouraging dialogue with campus groups to resolve the issue.

“We are a board comprised of Africans, Caribbeans, and Black Americans. We have and continue to reach out to African and Caribbean groups on campus in the spirit of dialogue and discussion surrounding this topic,” the statement said.

The statement also highlighted BSU’s hopes to launch a community discussion during Homecoming weekend when their alumni return to campus.

BSU delivered the demands to Pollack following a racially charged incident in which a black junior said he was punched in the face and called the N-word by a group of white men.

Pollack has taken steps to fulfill some of the demands, announcing the leaders, goals and timeframe of a presidential task force as well as by commissioning four new clinical staff members for the Counseling And Psychological Service.

Members of BSU did not respond to a request for comment.

  • Jay Wind

    This is identity politics carried out to an extreme. Our goal should be to make all Cornell students feel welcomed as Cornellians and as members of the Cornell community. A true Cornellian should not care where your grandfather lived. The Cornell community will have just as vibrant and diverse composition if we do not use “grandfather nationality” as an admission criteria.

    Both the original set of demands and this modification are based on the false premise that Cornell has some vague duty to address past injustice visited upon pre-Civil War slaves. Unlike some other Universities, Cornell has a good record — it was founded by an abolitionist who made his money in high-tech (the telegraph industry) and not through slave-related businesses. The University was founded after the Civil War and immediately sought to serve economically disadvantaged students and did not discriminate on the basis of race. Cornell from the start, provided scholarships to students from every legislative district in New York.

    Later, Cornell operated a Cooperative Extension service in every county in New York providing valuable training and upward mobility. Cornell has conducted research that has revolutionized international agriculture and nutrition. Cornell continues to achieve excellence in teaching, research and extension. The idea that it should divert resources to some vague notion of slavery reparations is short-sighted. No amount of discussion over Homecoming weekend will change the minds of the Board of Trustees and the University Council — because the idea of slavery reparations is disconnected from Cornell’s history and mission.

  • wantmoneybad

    i for one believe it should be about who has the best academic qualification and meets the needs of the university.

  • enlightenedboy

    All it takes is one black kid to cry wolf in a predominantly white frat house in order to have them shut down?
    Where was the investigation of the name calling? How many witnesses were actually interviewed? Where was the video of it? You just took one person’s word?

    All your panties are in a bunch because one black person has a grievance? Reminds of the millionaire NFL employees who aren’t held to any standards (like standing for the flag) because that would be racist. Blacks in America are being enabled and then crying wolf all over the place which is destroying well regarded institutions.

    Black privilege = The freedom to be racist against whites and get away with it. Cowardly whites leftists enable this….

    The fact that the black student union demanded to take over space in the house (without building it or truly earning it by the way) is nothing more than black resentment against white people. This lacks integrity and institutions created by honorable Americans and appreciated by all (until the last 5 years) will become dismantled, lose their integrity, and eventually fail….. This is the effect of Diversity and the beginning of the end…. It looks like it’s about people of color chasing down white people, their history, their traditions…..and getting away with it by leftists….

    • Map4Territory

      Is this satire? The first paragraph is filled with so many mistakes, either they were intentional or you are the type of idiot that gets outwitted by escalators on a weekly basis.

      No fraternity was shut down, the perpetrators house had already been closed prior to the incident. There is video evidence as well as witnesses that corroborated the incident. Spend 30 seconds actually reading about something before going on a rant about it. You’d look like less of a clown and people might actually respect your opinion instead of just laughing at you.

  • Happy Jack

    My, how the Sun is so ready to take sides. How many weeks has the Sun kept the video of the BSU occupying Willard Straight on its site. This is close-minded, ideological bias. Reality check: blacks are just as racist as anyone else. They’re no more angels than anybody else.

  • mma_ko

    Enough already. You know why there aren’t more African “Americans” at Cornell and other top universities? It’s called qualifications. So should we relax the requirements and dumb down the Cornells, Harvards, Stanfords, etc. of the world? You want more, then maybe BSU should focus their attention and volunteer in their communities to help bridge the educational gap of the next generation, and serve as model citizens to promote studying vs. clubbing. And why are so many black students from the Caribbean and Africa? Simple – they have superior qualifications; they work harder vs. whining about racism. This BSU demand – entitlement at its worse!

  • mma_ko

    Why don’t hispanics, whites and asians demand more representation on the basketball team because they’re underrepresented? Stop this nonsense already. Score 1500 on your SAT, get a 95 average … and I’m sure Cornell as well as any other university will let you in. Have some self respect. My goodness! Not everything is racism. Earn it.

  • Ezra Tank

    Wow so the BSU finally realized just how racist their demands were.

    Oh the irony.