N.Y.U. Served 'Racially Insensitive' Kool-Aid & Watermelon For Black History Month
The university has now issued an official apology.
After Weinsteing dining hall at New York University advertised barbecue ribs, corn bread, collard greens, Kool-Aid, and watermelon-flavored water on Tuesday in honor of Black History Month, a black student reported the meal as “stereotypical.”
Nia Harris, a sophomore in N.Y.U.’s College of Arts & Science, emailed the school’s deans with her grievances. “This is what it’s like to be a black student at New York University,” the 19-year-old wrote in a Facebook post Tuesday. “In 2018 I literally had to explain why displaying watermelon and koolaid in celebration of Black History Month was not only racially insensitive but just ignorant. I’ve wanted to go to NYU since I was 7th grade, and it breaks my heart that at this allegedly ‘diverse’ and ‘global’ institution, black students are faced with issues like this one.”
Within a day, university president Andrew Hamilton released a statement calling the menu “inexcusably insensitive,” stating, “That error was compounded by the insensitivity of the replies made to a student who asked Aramark staff on site how the choices were made.”
Aramark released an apology announcing the suspension of its director of Weinstein dining, stating, they are “re-training all employees to ensure a regrettable incident like this is not repeated.”
Sensitivity training for staff will be implemented and an investigation is ongoing.
N.Y.U. is ranked among the top employers for racial diversity in the nation.
In her Facebook post, Harris wrote. “These institutions want black students for diversity statistics, but cannot handle when students speak out. It’s time for action,”