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Bucknell student leaders back segregated housing for black students

University said it is aware of the demands

Bucknell University’s student government recently endorsed several demands made by the school’s Black Student Union, including a demand for black student housing and another that would require students to identify the “racial climate” of classrooms in end-of-course assessments.

“We DEMAND that there be more housing options for black students on campus aside from 7th Street House,” the Black Student Union wrote in a statement.

The student government letter called on Bucknell University President John Bravman to “make a statement recognizing that he saw the Black Student Union’s Letter and that he is working to fit their demands,” according to the campus newspaper.

The College Fix reached out via email to Sam Douds, Bucknell’s student government president, to ask why he and other leaders endorsed the letter, but did not receive a response.

The Fix sent multiple emailed requests for comment to the BSU in the past week asking it to identify specific instances of “anti-blackness” it referenced as reasoning for the demands as well as for clarification on if the group wanted more housing options for only black students.

The group criticized the university for not responding in February, calling it “another example of the willful and egregious disregard of Black students, their experiences, and their well-being on this campus,” in an Instagram post that also included the demands.

The university acknowledged the request in an email to The College Fix.

“The University is aware of the Black Student Union’s (BSU) letter,” Mike Ferlazzo, Bucknell’s director of media relations, said on April 12.

“The University is deeply committed to the challenging work of ensuring that Bucknell is an inclusive campus where all students feel welcome and comfortable — a place where each individual can thrive and reach their academic and personal goals,” Ferlazzo said. “We understand that for some in our community, we have not achieved that goal.”

Ferlazzo continued to say that school officials were in communication with the BSU to discuss changes that could be made but he did not provide any specifics on what the university plans to do or if the demands would be met.

Another demand calls for a new position in all academic departments at the university that is to be filled by someone with knowledge of “issues of relevance to Black Lives.”

“We DEMAND the creation of at least one Bucknell University Endowed Chair in every academic department with demonstrated research and teaching focused on issues of relevance to Black lives and culture with structural analysis, and demonstrated experience of training, mentoring, and service in these areas,” the black student activists demanded.

“The hires or appointments must be approved by a special committee of faculty that will be identified by the Black Student Union,” according to the statement.

MORE: Cal State LA offers segregated housing for black students

IMAGE: Bucknell Black Student Union/Instagram

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Jack Applewhite -- University of Georgia