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Photo by Emma Thumann.

Protect AFAM protest ends quietly after meetings with administration

The protest to save Africana Studies wrapped up on May 8 after 11 representatives of Protect AFAM met with University administration multiple times.

On May 3, protests broke out on the Green, before members of Protect AFAM trickled into President’s Hall for a sit-in that lasted for the remainder of the semester. This came after the remaining full-time faculty member of Africana Studies left at the end of fall 2022.

Demonstrators were seen at President’s Hall on May 8 packing their bags and removing signs, marking the end of overnight occupation. For the rest of the semester, they occupied the building from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.

It wasn’t until May 25 that they officially announced the end of the protest through their Instagram, @protect.afam.shu. According to their post, representatives met with University President Joseph Nyre, Provost Katia Passerini, Vice President of Student Services Monica Burnette, interim Director of Africana Studies Forest Pritchett, Student Government Association President Kai Hansen and others on May 8 and May 15.

“Protect AFAM representatives has, and will continue to meet with Monica Burnette, President Nyre, Provost Passerini, SGA and other Seton Hall representatives to grow our Africana Studies Program,” the post said.

They announced their “wins:” securing multiple seats on the hiring committee for new AFAM professors, and that administration will continue to work with the Council of Africana Scholars, Protect AFAM representatives and SGA “to grow the program in the coming weeks and especially during the Fall 2023 semester.”

In an email announcement on May 9, Nyre said there is no plan to close or underfund Africana Studies. He added that the meeting held on May 8 “focused on how best to strengthen enrollments and grow the program.”

Both Nyre and Protect AFAM said more information will be coming soon.

Protect AFAM has denied any and all of our requests for comment.

Emma Thumann can be reached at

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