Campus Activists Demand Free Tuition and Reparations


Tulane University activists are demanding that the school offer reparations to the descendants of slaves who worked on the plantation that became campus grounds nearly 200 years ago.

Before the school’s establishment in 1834—created as a medical university in response to the cholera, yellow fever, and smallpox epidemics—the land was used as a plantation. The school’s Black Student Union (BSU) asked administrators to identify the descendants of the enslaved people who once worked on the plantation and offer them full tuition and more, according to a list of demands posted online.

“We demand that Tulane allocates funding to track down the descendants of the enslaved people who labored at the Tulane plantation and offer them full tuition and room and board scholarships that include a living stipend each semester of attendance at Tulane,” the post reads. “Tulane must first acknowledge the trauma it has inflicted on black community members. It is Tulane’s responsibility to recognize their longstanding history of racism and take actionable steps to reconcile those practices.”

The Black Student Union did not return a request for comment.

The demands were not limited to the descendants of slaves. The group also said the university must offer financial assistance to students who suffered “emotional damage and trauma” by the on-campus presence of the “Victory Bell” after the university discovered in February that it was used to direct the movement of enslaved Africans in 1825. The 1960s-era campus landmark—dubbed the McAlister slave bell by activists—was removed after the university discovered its ties to slavery. The group now demands reparations and apologies from past Tulane presidents—dead or alive—who allowed the bell to represent the campus. – READ MORE

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