HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — A black graduate student who had fallen asleep in her Yale University dorm’s common area had to prove to police she was a student there in an interaction lasting more than 15 minutes.
A white student found Lolade Siyonbola sleeping on a couch in Yale’s Hall of Graduate Studies and called officers. Siyonbola posted two videos of the Monday incident on Facebook.
She said she was woken up by the student, who told her she was not allowed to be there and called authorities.
In the videos, Siyonbola tells officers the student who reported her had previously reported a black friend of hers who was in a stairwell of the building a few months ago. Thursday, Yale Daily News reports, Siyonbola updated her Facebook posts to identify the student who called police as Sarah Braasch, a philosophy student. Braasch did not immediately respond to a request for comment from USA TODAY.
In the video with police, Siyonbola shows police she has a key to her dorm, and opens her dorm room. After the officers request an ID, she eventually provides her identification. In the last video, there seems to be a problem confirming her ID. Eventually, the authorities confirm she is a student at the school and has a right to be there.
Lynn Cooley, the dean of Yale’s graduate school of arts and sciences, sent an email to graduate students Tuesday telling them that Siyonbola had every right to be in the building and inviting them to share their concerns about the incident.
“Incidents like that of last night remind us of the continued work needed to make Yale a truly inclusive place,” she 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.”
Since the videos surfaced, Siyonbola said she’s received “overwhelming” support.
“Black Yale community is beyond incredible and is taking good care of me,” she wrote on Facebook. “I know this incident is a drop in the bucket of trauma Black folk have endured since Day 1 America.”