Rice Univ student group unleash list of demands to include a ‘Black House,’ statue removal, better ID photos

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The newly formed Black Students Association at Rice University issued a brazen set of demands leading many to call out what they saw as on-campus segregation.

The student group at the  Houston, Texas institution is “demanding” that the administration establish a “non-residential Black House” on the campus and, following the current anti-monument trend, are calling for the removal of a statue of the university’s founder.

“Here are what black undergraduate students have demanded from Rice Universuty [sic] administration,” graduate research assistant Dani Perdue wrote in a post on Rice’s official Graduate Student Association page on Facebook. “I hope they are listening! #NoMoreLipService #blacklivesmatter.”

The BSA’s Instagram page elaborated that the so-called Black House should have all the “features of a residential college” but it should also be “specifically made for Black students and Black organizations to congregate and hold events. … It would be best to have a central, safe space that Black students can meet and hangout in anytime of the day.”

Perdue’s post also demanded the “removal” of a statue of William Marsh Rice, the university founder who was a slave-owner and apparently stipulated that the university was to be built for “whites only.”

“Rice University’s history has included many racist moments such as the Klu Klux Klan chapter and blackface social gatherings,” the group’s post read. “In addition to that, sitting at the center of our university is William Marsh Rice, the owner of 15 slaves during the mid-19th century.”

BSA contended that the statue is a “constant reminder” to the school’s black students – – who freely chose to attend there — of “what Rice University used to be like and what it stood for.”

“We believe that there could be numerous better options to represent the heart of our university and acknowledge Rice’s racist past,” the post read.

The students also wanted “more black professors, faculty, well-being counselors and therapists” to be hired by the private university which accepts federal funds.

Other demands included that the number of black students be increased and that Rice’s code of conduct be revised to include “hate speech,” as well as noting that “course descriptions should include tags that indicate what race/ethnic/cultural groups are included since many course titles do not make it clear if they include diverse perspectives in their course material.”

They also argued that “many Black students have had significant issues with the photographs that are displayed on our student IDs,” calling for “better lighting for ID photos,” adding, “We deserve to be photographed and represented properly without having to make modifications and adjustments.”

The Black House demand sparked some push-back on the social media post, with some students questioning whether the move amounted to just another form of exclusion on the campus. But the president of the GSA, Alison Farrish, apparently deleted those comments.

“I didn’t and don’t want to jump to any conclusions, but many of the comments — again, mostly quite civil and mostly from persons affiliated with Rice — expressed a critical or dissenting view of the poster/infographic relative to the implicit endorsement of it expressed in Dani Perdue’s original post,” Allen Porter, a Rice Ph.D. student, told Fox News.

“I don’t want to speculate on Alison’s intentions or motivations. All I can say is that I did not see sufficient disrespect in the comments to warrant erasing the much greater amount of respectful discourse that was recorded under the post,” Porter added.

Perdue and Rice University as well as Farrish did not responded to requests for comment by Fox News, which noted that “[E]ventually, the entire demand list vanished from the Facebook page.”

Critics slammed the move as another example of out of control left-wing campuses, following a recent incident at UCLA which suspended a professor who has taught there for nearly four decades because he would not exempt black students from final exams following the death of George Floyd.

Frieda Powers

Senior Staff Writer
[email protected]

Originally from New York, Powers graduated from New York University and eventually made her way to sunny South Florida where she has been writing for the BizPacReview team since 2015.
Frieda Powers

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