A black graduate student at Yale was interrogated by police for 17 minutes after a white graduate student reported her for napping in a common room of a building that they both live in.
Sarah Braasch, a white graduate student at Yale, called the police department after finding Siyonbola asleep in the dorm. Yale graduate student Lolade Siyonbola posted two videos of the encounter to Facebook, where they have been widely viewed and drawn thousands of comments.
“I deserve to be here. I pay tuition like everybody else,” Siyonbola told responding officers in one video after they asked for her ID. “I’m not going to justify my existence here.”
The videos went viral on Yale’s campus, prompting Graduate School of Arts and Sciences Dean Lynn Cooley to send an email to all post-graduate students on Tuesday evening stressing the importance of inclusivity and opening up lines of dialogue with students.
“Incidents like that of last night remind us of the continued work needed to make Yale a truly inclusive place,” Cooley wrote. “I am committed to redoubling our efforts to build a supportive community in which all graduate students are empowered in their intellectual pursuits and professional goals within a welcoming environment. An essential part of that effort must be a commitment to mutual respect and an open dialog.”