Yesterday (May 3), students at Seton Hall University in South Orange, New Jersey walked out of their classes in protest. The reason behind the planned exit was to demand that school officials take the Africana Studies program seriously.
In an article published by Seton Hall University’s school newspaper yesterday, The Setonian reported that student protesters gathered at President’s Hall for a sit-in and were also seen outside the Chancellor’s Room in the University Center. The rallying commenced around noon as the young pupils came together to save their almost nonexistent Africana Studies program. Students were told by the school’s provost, Katia Passerini, that if they disbanded, “we will meet with three of your appointed representatives in the University Center, Room 224 at 4:30 p.m. today.” The group declined to leave, staying past 6 p.m.
Students deserve to be taught by professors steeped in the history of the African and the Black American experience. They pay for their education and have the right to participate in the programming and staffing of the AFAM department. Their voices must heard. @Setonhall… https://t.co/Bbl1bXakxw
— Ande Richards (@AndeRichards) May 3, 2023
“I came in [wanting] to go into pre-law programs and they said Africana Studies programs [were] not the route to do political science, so students are actually discouraged from taking Africana courses,” Jayde Dieu, a student at Seton Hall University, told ABC 7 New York. The last remaining Africana Studies faculty member leaving last fall is supposedly a contributing factor to the program’s demise. “We don’t have resources, we don’t have professors and we don’t have the support that we need,” another student, Tawanna Brown, added.
The outcry has also spilled over to social media. “Students deserve to be taught by professors steeped in the history of the African and the Black American experience. They pay for their education and have the right to participate in the programming and staffing of the AFAM department. Their voices must [be] heard, Seton Hall,” one person tweeted in response to a post showing a photo from the protest. Elizabeth Tescum, who is enrolled at the university, said, “We came here hoping to get this education that’s offered online; it says, ‘Lively and thriving, Africana Studies, the first in New Jersey,’ you know the first university to have it and they’re not giving us the resources.”
See related posts below.
If we don't get it, shut it down. The fight for equal education continues. Protect Africana Studies at Seton Hall.
— Protect AFAM at Seton Hall (@protectafamshu) April 28, 2023
Student protest to protect African American Studies at Seton Hall University in South Orange, NJ: pic.twitter.com/3GID6DTTAH
— Bashir Akinyele (@bakinyele) May 4, 2023
Students at Seton Hall hold protest for Africana studies program – CBS New York https://t.co/XQFGKRr5cL
— Lawrence Hamm (@LawrenceHamm7) May 4, 2023
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