NYU Issues Apology to Students After Black History Month Menu Includes Watermelon and Kool-Aid


President of New York University, Andrew Hamilton, has issued an apologetic statement to students after controversy transpired at the school concerning their insensitive food choices for one of the dining halls menus for Black History Month.

Last week, the dining hall served a menu based on racial stereotypes, which included a watermelon-flavored water, red Kool-Aid, ribs, collard greens, and macaroni and cheese.

The menu choices were deemed as “inexcusably insensitive” and the university was “shocked to learn of the drink and food choices,” said Hamilton in a statement Wednesday.
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In response to it all, the dining hall’s food services provider will now be enforcing a staff sensitivity training.
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“This assortment of food is problematic due to the inherent stereotypes associated with black people and southern soul food cuisine, as well as a lack of consideration for Black people in the Diaspora,” reads the statement from the Black Student Union, “These drink options perpetuate harmful stereotypes that have existed about the black community for decades, and show an extreme level of cultural insensitivity.”
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When students asked dining hall employees about the menu, the dining hall’s food service director reportedly told students that the meal was planned by black employees.
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Hamilton insists that the menu, which was organized by the food services provider Aramark, was not previously discussed with the university.
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Nia Harris was one of the first students to bring attention to the matter. “This is what it’s like to be a black student at New York University. You go to a dining hall during February and you see ‘Black History Month Meal’ plastered outside the entrance. You walk inside the dining hall only to find ribs, collard greens, and mac and cheese,” Harris wrote in a Facebook post which also included a screenshot of the email she sent to dining services.
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Harris, a 19-year-old sophomore at the institution, said she doesn’t believe the employees were intending to be disrespectful, but that the decision was instead made out of ignorance.
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Aramark has fired two employees that organized the menu. The company claims that the entire controversy was due to the actions of one employee who has been suspended. “The individual acted independently in a way that runs counter to our values and compromised our longstanding commitment to diversity and inclusion,” said Aramark Regional Vice President Victoria Pasquale in a statement.

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