Sierra Leonean student complain about discrimination at New Jersey City University (NJCU)

My name is LAHAI SESAY, a student at NJ CU and resident in Jersey City, New Jersey since September 2009. Since January 2010, when I started schooling at NJ CU,I have been harassed, intimidated, threatened and discriminated by the school security guard, the janitor staff, and most recently, the school Financial Aid and the Bursar‘s office. They are claiming that I’m a terrorist and combatant from Sierra Leone. This claim is false and is a common tactics used to humiliate, intimidate, threaten and discriminate against people with color.

New Jersey City University

For example, the school Financial Aid has refused to grant me state aid. Despite the state granting me the aid through New Jersey Higher education authority I was still denied by school financial aid.. I have made several appeals for my state aid to be granted but to no avid. When I spoke with few fellow students, they were given their state grant by the school financial Aid.

My annual income for last year was $13,640.00 and $2,460 was allocated to me. While some of my school mates annual income rise above $15,000.00 and up to $4,500.00 was allocated to them.

When I investigated the matter as a National security student, I discovered that the school Financial Aid is behind this manipulation. Using their friends, close relatives, workmate and loved once at New Jersey Higher education in Trenton to carry out this act. The school Financial Aid did not only end there, but also reduced my federal aid.

I’m a full time student with 9 credits this semester. They in turn put me to per term and make it look rare that I’m a per time student. Block all access to seek official information from the school. In fact, the bursar’s office has developed a new system of provocations by sending email messages and letters with different school charges and figures.

The school guard, on the other hand, will stop me, and they will tell and I quote” we have a complain that match your description, are you a student of this school and what is your major.” When I took this matter to school authorities, they deny it and sent me a letter that it did not happen and my claim was not valid. Despite providing them with the time, date, place and vehicle registration number, nothing was done.

Currently, the Path train that runs between Jersey city and 33rd street in Manhattan New York City. Place me on their footage video camera in collaboration with the Jersey City Police. Most times while communicating with my loved once, friends, family members, they interrupt, end or threaten them to stop communicating with me. They tell them that they are FBI by texting or making phone call directly to them. I have received my of such complaints. Based on the threats, almost all of them do not want to hear from me or even receive phone calls from me.

All of my relatives and friends have got very concern about the matter. That had made me to be isolated and no friend to visit. Most times they police send fellow blacks against me, grocery store owners, their workers and even bus drivers to be watchful whenever I’m around. This is very humiliating and frustrating to bear. They also send roommates, landlord, and my closet family members and friends against me. Encourage them to intimidate morels and provoke me. I’m really not at peace. This happen on daily bases and each time I complaint, they will deny it and continue the act more aggressively. This complaint has been laid to NYPD Civilian Complaint Board, State Authorities and even school authorities but nothing has stop.

This intimidation, provocation, threat and discrimination follow me at work, on the street, in the subway of MTA in New York and even other public places and in the buses as well. Actually, as you may have understood, I’m a refugee with no stronger tiles behind me.

I pray that you will have the time to look into this mater and appropriate action taken.

Thank you.

Lahai Sesay

Editor’s Note: Newstime Africa received this complaint by email, and have not spoken to the University authorities to get their side of the story, but have decided to publish Lahai’s letter to get reaction from students who may have sufferd similar experiences at the same University. We aslo invite the University to respond to Lahai’s claims by email using the contact form on our homepage, and we will endeavour to publish that as well.  The publishers of Newstime Africa take discrimination issues extremely seriously, especially in higher institutions of learning, and will investigate the claims made by Lahai in this letter. 

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