NYU: Meal for Black History Month 'Inexcusably Insensitive'

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The students at Central Park took to the stage Friday to celebrate Black History Month. You walk inside the dining hall only to find ribs, collard greens, and mac and cheese.

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Obviously the negative racial connotations and history of Koolaid and watermelon is why I took it upon myself to write today. In 2018 I literally had to explain why displaying watermelon and koolaid [sic] in celebration of Black History Month was not only racially insensitive but just ignorant.

"I think NYU, amongst many other schools put on this facade that everything is going fine but, the truth is that, the students are not fine", Eubanks said.

"It is with great sadness and frustration that I even have to send this email", the note began. I didn't want it to come down to someone losing their job, just because I understand that people need to provide for their families. Please share, repost, comment, or whatever.

Students and staff wanted to leave a lasting memory on everyone.

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Tyla Leach, also student at the school, said many students were upset. "We were shocked to learn of the drink and food choices that our food service provider - Aramark - offered at the Weinstein dining hall as part of Black History Month", he said.

CAS sophomore Kayla Eubanks, who confronted food services staff concerning the meal on February 20, explained in an email to Local that this situation was indicative of a larger issue at hand on campus - that NYU is not adhering to the standard it claims to believe in.

Since the apology, the terminations and the story getting attention from news outlets outside of the university, the Governance Council of Minority and Marginalized Students (GCOMMS), the Black & Brown Coalition and the Black Student Union has released a joint statement addressing what happened. We are extremely dissatisfied with Aramark's actions in this instance.

He detailed that the catering company has now suspended the director of Weinstein dining and is in the process of an investigation. "We have zero tolerance for any employee who does not adhere to our values or contradicts our longstanding commitment to diversity and inclusion", it reads.

Aramark already requires employees to do that, but it said that two of its workers violated that standard by planning the menu on their own.

It issued an apology to the entire NYU community and "communities everywhere" for the employees' "insensitive and offensive actions". "We are re-training all our NYU campus employees to ensure an incident like this is not repeated".

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