Petition for Syracuse University to Acknowledge Complicity in Anti-Black Racism passes 2,000 Signatures
By Erin Lyons
SYRACUSE, N.Y– A Change.org petition calling on Syracuse University to “acknowledge complicity in anti-black racism” has passed 2,000 signatures. The petition was started by a recent Syracuse University graduate Tayla Myree. Since the petition’s creation on June 9th, over 2,000 people have signed on.
The petition is calling upon Syracuse University to acknowledge “the institutional violence that the university has perpetrated against its OWN Black students, specifically addressing the inhumane treatment of #NotAgainSU protesters in February of 2020” through an email addressed to current students, faculty, and staff, as well prospective students.
One of #NotAgainSU’s demands was that Syracuse University acknowledges how the university contributes to systemic racism and white supremacy. During negotiations with #NotAgainSU, Syracuse University said they would not agree to this demand.
Myree’s petition is also calling upon Syracuse University to credit #NotAgainSU for the university’s “Campus Commitments” – a set of policies and initiatives the university has agreed to follow in order to foster a “diverse, inclusive and respectful campus community, not only in vision but in practice.” The commitments were first agreed upon between Syracuse University and #NotAgainSU, Jewish students, and international students in November 2019. #NotAgainSU and Syracuse University negotiated further addendums and additional demands in February and March of 2020. The website where all campus commitments are listed and updated by the university refers to #NotAgainSU as “student protesters” and there is no explicit mention of #NotAgainSu.
The final demand on Myree’s Change.org petition is for Syracuse University to pledge to become an “ANTI-RACIST campus.”
Myree said she was motivated to create the petition due to Syracuse University’s statements on the death of George Floyd, a black man who was killed in police custody.
In an Instagram caption where she shared the petition, Myree wrote “I wrote this petition in response to the disingenuous statements that @syracuseu has made in response to the George Floyd case, Syracuse has yet to publicly acknowledge its complicity in white supremacy or it’s perpetuation of anti-Black racism.”
“They continue to use our labor, take credit for our ideas, post our photos on their brochures, but continually disregard Black students and our experiences,” Myree wrote.
As of June 10th, over 2,100 signatures are on the petition. The current goal for the petition is 2,500.