Lolade Siyonbola fell asleep on the couch in the Hall of Graduate Studies on Tuesday (May 8) when a white woman by the name of Sarah Braasch confronted her and told her she did not belong there. Braasch cited that she had “every right to call the police” because Siyonbola could not rest in that room. When police arrived to the scene they recalled Braasch stating there was somebody sleeping in the room who wasn’t “where they were supposed to be.”
The police asked to see the 34-year-old’s ID and questioned her for about 15 minutes before confirming she was a student at the Ivy League institution. Authorities claimed the process took long because her name was misspelled in the school’s database.
Siyonbola recorded the entire interaction and posted the video to Facebook which has since garnered half a million views and counting. Despite being targeted by a fellow student, she gracefully kept her composure throughout the entire ordeal. She also told police she refused to justify her existence for being there as she pays tuition like everybody else.
According to the Facebook post, this isn’t Braasch’s first time calling the police on someone on campus. Siyonbola claims she called the police on her friend a few months ago for getting lost in the same building.
Lynn Cooley, the dean of Yale’s Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, sent an email to students addressing Tuesday’s incident. Cooley called the occurrence a reminder of the work that needs to be done to make Yale a truly inclusive place. “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,” Cooley wrote.