BLACK VOICES

Black Students Say They Were Harassed With Bananas At American University

“I wouldn’t let people drive me out, but it’s kind of sad that this kind of thing still happens.”

19/09/2016 5:13 PM AEST | Updated 20/09/2016 3:28 AM AEST
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Students at American University in Washington D.C. have condemned the school over what they said was an inadequate response to racially-charged incidents on campus this month.

In one case, a rotting banana was left at the door of a black student’s dorm room. In addition, someone drew a penis on a whiteboard attached to her door. 

“I wouldn’t let people drive me out,” Neah Gray, the freshman who found the banana, told the newspaper. “But it’s kind of sad that this kind of thing still happens.”

In another incident, someone threw a rotten banana at a black student, according to the American University Black Student Alliance. The organization said that the actions were part of a pattern of behavior at the university; last year, racist epithets were written on the dorm doors of black students

The university described one of the incidents as “not characterized as bias related,” and announced that “conduct charges” were taking place through the “Student Conduct process.” It was not clear which incident the university was referring to. 

On Friday, the administration also announced plans for a town hall meeting to be held that very night.

That response didn’t sit well with many students, who said they weren’t given enough notice to attend the meeting.

Black women are under threat on campus ― they are being used as target practice,” Jada Bell, the Black Student Alliance’s outreach coordinator, told BuzzFeed. “We’re literally being attacked and assaulted on campus, and there’s nothing being done about it by the administration.”

As a result, the university’s student senate issued a resolution late Sunday not only condemning the incidents, but also the school’s response.

American University student Ryan Shepard said signs were later posted around campus:

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