NEW HAVEN -- Monday afternoon, more than a thousand Yale students took to the streets in a "March of Resilience." Students say they are unhappy with how their school has handled recent racially charged incidents.
The series of events and reactions started on October 30--- when a group of students were turned away from a Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity party, a frat member allegedly turned away minority students at the door-- saying it was "white girls only party." At 5:21 p.m. on Halloween, Yale student Neema Githere posted the following to her Facebook page:
I'd just like to take a moment to give a shoutout to the member of Yale's SAE chapter who turned away a group of girls from their party last night, explaining that admittance was on a "White Girls Only" basis; and a belated shoutout to the SAE member who turned me and my friends away for the same reason last year. God Bless the USA.
The national Sigma Alpha Epsilon chapter denies the incident happened, meanwhile the university is conducting its own investigation.
This is not the first time SAE been under scrutiny. In February, the fraternity was banned from campus until August of 2016 for violating Yale’s sexual-misconduct policies.
Students blocked traffic as the march crossed Chapel Street, and went near the Sterling Library.
“It's about getting students to see the visible support on campus, to come together, to be empowered, to see the bodies that are in solidarity with the students of color and our allies,” said Cathleen Calderon, a Yale student who was at the rally. “A lot of what has happened this week has really created a platform for students to become vocal about issues that they experience on a daily basis as students of color."
Students marching held a sign that says "We out here, we've been here. We ain't leaving. We are loved." as they marched past the SAE fraternity house on High Street.
Yale University President Peter Salovey and Yale College Dean Jonathan Holloway sent university-wide emails Friday addressing students' concerns about a pattern of discrimination on campus. University officials spent four hours with students who voiced their grievances Thursday at a forum in Woodbridge Hall.
Following the meeting, Salovey said in his email that he was "deeply troubled" by the conversation and that the entire school community must join together to create greater "inclusion, healing, mutual respect and understanding" at Yale.
Salovey also said the leadership of the university is “working on next steps. You will hear from me again before Thanksgiving about some of these actions."
“I think Thanksgiving still isn't good enough and that will definitely be pushing president Salovey to announce the way that he's going to move forward before then,” said Eshe Sherley, a Yale Student.
Monday, the University of Missouri president stepped down amid a controversy over race relations at the school’s main campus.
Yale students would not rule out calling for Salovey to do the same.
“I think we'll know more about what that looks like in a few days about what the demands are that come out of this out of this rally,” said Sherley.