Singled out for being Black? Harvard University senior, Chanequa Campbell, says race was a motivating factor in the school’s decision to kick her out of her dorm and tell her that she couldn’t graduate.
Campbell, a Brooklyn native, lived in the same dorm where a 21-year-old campus visitor and suspected drug dealer, Justin Cosby, was gunned down in an attempted robbery early last week.
While Campbell is friends with the girlfriend of the person charged with murdering Cosby (the girlfriend is also a Harvard student), she insists she had no connection to the crime, the suspect or the victim, reports The Associated Press.
Campbell also denies selling marijuana to Harvard students. She says she was at work and taking a final on the day of the murder. But without much notice or an explanation, she was told to leave campus Friday with just a few of her things and given a no-trespassing order, her attorney, Jeffrey Karp, told the AP.
“There is no citation to the student code, no citation to any law, no citation to any facts,” her lawyer told the news service.
“I do believe I am being singled out,” Campbell told The Boston Globe in an interview. “I’m Black and I’m poor and I’m from New York and I walk a certain way and I keep my clothes a certain way. It’s something that labels me as different from everyone else.”
Local authorities are also investigating how much Harvard students were involved in the crime. The suspect, 20-year-old songwriter Jabrai Jordan Copney, was able to enter the Kirkland House dorm using a card key that a Harvard student gave him. The key Copney used was not Campbell’s, her attorney said.
Last week, Copney pled not guilty to the murder.
Since Campbell wasn’t actually expelled, there is still some hope that she’ll be able to walk across the commencement stage June 4. “Our hope and prayer is that Harvard will reconsider and allow her to graduate,” Karp said.