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Sunday, Feb. 25, 2024
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Satire: University president calls for an end to Discrimination with Roberts H. Shoeretopman Higginbotham Daughenbaugh Housing Project

Syrwell is the first president to make a diversity and equity project a reality

The following piece is satire and should not be misconstrued for actual reporting. Any resemblance to a student, staff or faculty member is coincidental.

In a recent email to American University students, University President Bylvia P. Syrwell announced a new plan to initiate a rigorous $300 million housing project in accordance with AU’s Plan for Inclusive Excellence. 

“Dear AU community,” Syrwell started the email. “After long and deliberate planning with many AU students, my team and I have come to various conclusions in collaboration with our changemaker community.”

“As Eagles, one of our core values is the belief and understanding that we as a community cannot be truly excellent without being inclusive,” continued Syrwell. “That is why I am introducing the Roberts H. Shoeretopman Higginbotham Daughenbaugh Housing Project, where we are dedicating millions of dollars to move all 2,000 students of color living on campus to new housing.”

Syrwell said that this decision had been months in the making as she and the Board of Trustees visited various Supreme Court decisions. “As SCOTUS is a beacon of morality, we are implementing the Court’s ruling to advance our Inclusive Excellence goals. We have taken a number of steps,” wrote Syrwell.

Syrwell expressed how exciting this entire process has been for the team. In the University’s 130 years of standing, no president brought up projects like this.

“I will admit, I am ashamed we failed to consider our #POC before,” the email continued. “But as the first woman president on campus, it is my duty to reflect the University’s commitment to holding ourselves and each other accountable for achieving real change.” 

“While the Shoeretopman Higginbotham Daughenbaugh Housing Project is new, it’s only the beginning,” continued Syrwell. “I am proud to be an Eagle. At least for the next five months.”

The Shoeretopman Higginbotham Daughenbaugh Housing Project aims to relocate all students of color to different housing to create a sense of community. “Muslim, Italianx, Latinx, Black, Middle Eastern or Asian… We are valuing our people even when they are vastly different from us,” said Syrwell. “We’ve brought Qdoba, Halal Shack and even Baba’s Pizza to campus. Our fight doesn’t end here.”

“Diversity is more than chasing students of color on campus: it is hearing their experiences,” wrote Syrwell.

Garrett Henry Joseph III, a sophomore in the School of International Service, expressed his gratitude to Syrwell. “This will be a milestone in AU’s history,” Joseph III said. “Our residential spaces will improve so much.”

Joseph III currently lives in Anderson and has been working directly with Syrwell to establish the Shoeretopman Higginbotham Daughenbaugh Housing Project. “As someone who doesn’t see color, I feel comfortable saying my Arab roommate can get scary sometimes,” Joseph III said. “Actually, I don’t even know if he is Arab. He is tan and has a beard.”

Marianne Ronald James Panera, a senior in the School of Public Affairs, shared her excitement about the Shoeretopman Higginbotham Daughenbaugh Housing Project. “This is the reason why I am at this progressive school,” Panera said. “But I am disappointed it took so long to get here. Like, I’m leaving.”

Panera also criticized the amount the school is spending on the Shoeretopman Higginbotham Daughenbaugh Housing Project. “Look, I get that we are trying to help out minority students,” said Panera. “But this project can be built without all of that money. We can use it to expand our underfunded Frisbee Department.”

Meliha Ural is a junior in the School of Public Affairs and School of Communication and a columnist for the Eagle. 

This article was edited by India Siecke, Alexis Bernstein and Abigail Pritchard. Copy editing by Isabelle Kravis and Charlie Mennuti.

satire@theeagleonline.com


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