Yale graduate student Lolade Siyonbola was grabbing a quick nap in the common room of the YaHall of Graduate Studies on Monday, when she awoke to the presence of campus police officers who were there to question her. The kafkaesque situation was the result of a white classmate calling the cops on Siyonbola, who is black.
Campus police officers questioned Siyonbola for more than 15, minutes according to the Yale Daily News. One of the cops told her, “You’re in a Yale Building and we need to make sure that you belong here.”
“I deserve to be here; I paid tuition like everybody else; I am not going to justify my existence here,” she said.
Causing additional confusion, according to police, was the fact that Siyonbola’s name was apparently misspelled in a school database, making it more difficult to verify that she is indeed a student.
Siyonbola uploaded two videos to social media. One was of the white student, who defended her actions, saying, “I have every right to call the police.” Siyonbola said in a comment that the same student called the police on a friend of hers who was lost in the building.
The other video, seen above, was of the interaction with the campus police officers.
Graduate School of Arts and Sciences Dean Lynn Cooley sent an email to all graduate and PhD students to address the situation.
“Incidents like that of last night remind us of the continued work needed to make Yale a truly inclusive place,” Cooley said. “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.”
[Image via Facebook screengrab]