“The Demands”

Unless you’ve been vacationing on Mars the past several weeks, you no doubt have heard about the demands college students have been making on their respective administrations and fellow students. With all the hoopla about the higher-profile schools, perhaps you have not seen or heard of the demands of students at schools relatively ignored by the media.

Today, I would like to illuminate some of those less-well-known issues (demands) at five of those lower-profile institutions. I’ll reference two main sources of information:

(1) the Web site entitled “The Demands” and

(2) the College Confidential discussion forum.

The former will spell out student demands in explicit detail. The latter will shed the light (or dark) of opinion on some of these demands.

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First, here is the introductory text from TheDemands.org:

Across the nation, students have risen up to demand an end to systemic and structural racism on campus. Here are their demands.Note: These demands were compiled from protesters across the country. These are living demands and will grow and change as the work grows and changes. If you have demands that are not listed, please send them to sam@thisisthemovement.org or @samswey.For information about upcoming actions and opportunities to get involved, visit BlackLiberationCollective.org. List of Campuses Represented (last updated 12.1.15):

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Here is the list of schools (with links to their demands):
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  1. Black Liberation Collective #StudentBlackOut Demands (Multiple Colleges) (Link to Demands)
  2. University of Missouri (Link to Demands)
  3. Amherst College (Link to Demands)
  4. Atlanta University Center Consortium (Spelman, Morehouse, Clark Atlanta, ITC) (Link to Demands)
  5. Bard College (Link to Demands)
  6. Beloit College (Link to Demands)
  7. Boston College (Link to Demands)
  8. Brandeis University (Link to Demands)
  9. Brown University (Link to Demands)
  10. California Polytechnic State University (Link to Demands)
  11. Claremont McKenna College (Link to Demands)
  12. Clemson University (Link to Demands)
  13. Dartmouth College (Link to Demands)
  14. Duke University (Link to Demands)
  15. Eastern Michigan University (Link to Demands)
  16. Emory University (Link to Demands)
  17. Georgia Southern University (Link to Demands)
  18. Grinnell College (Link to Demands)
  19. Guilford College (Link to Demands)
  20. Harvard University (Link to Demands)
  21. Ithaca College (Link to Demands)
  22. Johns Hopkins University (Link to Demands)
  23. Kennesaw State University (Link to Demands)
  24. Lawrence University (Link to Demands)
  25. Lewis and Clark College (Link to Demands)
  26. Loyola University Maryland (Link to Demands)
  27. Michigan State University (Link to Demands)
  28. Middle Tennessee State University (Link to Demands)
  29. Missouri State University (Link to Demands)
  30. New York University (Link to Demands)
  31. Notre Dame of Maryland University (Link to Demands)
  32. Occidental College (Link to Demands)
  33. Portland State University (Link to Demands)
  34. Purdue University (Link to Demands)
  35. San Francisco State University (Link to Demands)
  36. Santa Clara University (Link to Demands)
  37. Sarah Lawrence College (Link to Demands)
  38. Simmons College (Link to Demands)
  39. Southern Methodist University (Link to Demands)
  40. St. Louis University (Link to Demands)
  41. Towson University (Link to Demands)
  42. Tufts University (Link to Demands)
  43. University of Alabama (Link to Demands)
  44. University of Baltimore (Link to Demands)
  45. University of California, Berkeley (Link to Demands)
  46. UCLA (Link to Demands)
  47. University of Cincinnati (Link to Demands)
  48. University of Kansas (Link to Demands)
  49. University of Michigan (Link to Demands)
  50. University of Minnesota (Link to Demands)
  51. University of North Carolina at Greensboro (Link to Demands)
  52. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (Link to Demands)
  53. University of Oregon (Link to Demands)
  54. University of Ottawa (Link to Demands)
  55. University of Puget Sound (Link to Demands)
  56. University of San Diego (Link to Demands)
  57. University of South Carolina (Link to Demands)
  58. University of Southern California (Link to Demands)
  59. University of Toronto (Link to Demands)
  60. University of Virginia (Link to Demands)
  61. University of Wyoming (Link to Demands)
  62. Vanderbilt University (Link to Demands)
  63. Virginia Commonwealth U. (Link to Demands)
  64. Washington University in St. Louis (Link to Demands)
  65. Webster University (Link to Demands)
  66. Wesleyan University Demands (Link to Demands)
  67. Yale University (Link to Demands)

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Next, is just a tiny sampling of those demands from five schools:

From Eastern Michigan University:

1.    We demand that the amount of black faculty should match the amount of black students. Excluding all faculty in the Africology department. Meaning the ratio needs to match without including the black faculty in that department.

2.    We demand all students should take a general education race, ethnicity, and racism course.

3.    We demand Black studies built into the curriculum of every major.

4.    We demand Annual cultural competency for all faculty and staff including DPS

5.    We demand a CMA that has the capacity to host large groups of marginalized students in a safe space without restrictions on outside food. We demand a functioning CMA allowed proper space and given proper recognition. …

Ithaca College has just one demand:

By People of Color Ithaca:The resignation of College President Tom Rochon or for him to be removed from his position.
Loyola University of Maryland:
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By Concerned Students of Color at Loyola University Maryland:1. We demand Mandatory Racial Justice Training for all employees, faculty, staff, and new students. This training must be facilitated by a student-approved third party consultant.2. We demand that our ALANA (African, Latino, Asian and Native American) Services receives an adequate increase of resources (space, staff, funding, etc.) annually and in proportion to the influx of new enrolled students of color.3. We demand an increase in the number of hired and tenured faculty and staff of color.

Dialogue about the details with the President are currently underway and some commitments have been made.

Michigan State University:
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By #liberatemsu:1. We demand the establishment of a Department of African American and African Studies with an annual supplies, services, and equipment budget of at least $200,000, twenty graduate assistant lines for the doctoral program, and, at minimum, ten tenure-stream faculty members by Fall 2017.2. We demand the construction of a free-standing Multicultural Center with its own budget from the University to support social and academic programming by Spring 2017.3. We demand that Michigan State University establish a College of Race, Class, and Gender Studies. This college will be home to the newly created Department of African American and African Studies, and it would establish a Department of Chicano and Latino Studies, Department of Women and Gender Studies, and a Department of Native American Studies.

4. We demand an increase in tenure-stream faculty whose research specializes in Black Politics, Black Linguistics, Black Sociology, Black Psychology, African politics, Black Queer Studies, Hip-Hop Studies, African American Literature, African Literature, and Decolonial Theory. All these faculty hires must be approved by a panel of Black student leaders and will be tenured in the Department of African American and African Studies. …

Missouri State University (These are just the “Immediate” demands, which are followed by a second section of “gradual” demands (not posted here)):
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Immediate1.     We demand that by December 1, 2015 the university issue a public statement that includes the following:a.     An acknowledgment of systemic racism in higher education,b.     A commitment to differentiating “hate speech” from “freedom of speech,”

c.     Instituting a zero tolerance policy for hate crimes, and

d.     An explanation for moving Multicultural Services from the Division for Diversity & Inclusion to the Division of Student Affairs.

2.     We demand that all plans for the Diversity Center be published in the Standard, in Plaster Student Union, and in its designated space on campus by December 1,  2015.

a.     The official name of the office should be: Mary Jean Price-Walls Center of Diversity.

b.     We demand that Dominiece Hoelyfield be named Interim Director of the MRC until this position is permanently filled.

i. Alongside Dominiece, a Cultural Coordinator of, ethnic background, should be recruited (from outside Missouri State University) and hired to work in the new Diversity Center.

c.     The construction of any of new buildings associated with or dedicated to diversity should be published on the university’s 10-year plan. The Office of University Advancement is responsible for funding all related projects.

d.     The Multicultural Resource Center should be left in tact during and after all construction projects related to diversity. This center is a tremendous asset to minority students.

3.     We demand that all Multicultural Services be placed under the complete jurisdiction of the Division forDiversity & Inclusion by the beginning of the Spring 2016semester.

a.     Given that Multicultural services are governed by the Division of Student Affairs, the current administration is incompatible with the needs of students of color.

b.      Last year, Multicultural Services was moved from the Division for Diversity & Inclusion to the Division of Student Affairs. This move has been marketed to students as “beneficial”; however, it has only allowed for negligence toward the concerns and needs of minority students by ill equipped faculty.

i. Multicultural Services is only one of the seven subsets of Student Affairs.

ii. Access to funding is limited.

iii. This paradigm allows for issues in visibility, representation, and power.

c.     Because the Division for Diversity & Inclusion in currently involved in few programs, Multicultural Services will be priority under this division.

d.     General functions, as defined by the Human Resources Department, justify the reorganization of these divisions.

i. Vice President of Diversity and Inclusion: Promote consistency of diversity processes to positively impact student development.

-The Vice President for Diversity and Inclusion maintains strong collaborative working relationships among senior executives, faculty, students, staff, external constituents, and builds teams that function effectively.

-We deem it imperative that the Vice President reacquire this responsibility under the Division of Diversity & Inclusion.

ii. Vice President for Student Affairs: chief student-personnel officer of the University and advises the President on all matters pertaining to non-academic student life. Vice President of Student Affairs also promotes positive student relations by maintaining effective lines of communication with student leaders serving as a strong advocate for the non-academic, extracurricular, and co-curricular needs of students.

-The lack of communication regarding plans for the Diversity Center and for filling the Multicultural Resource Center & Programs Executive Director vacancy renders the current definition of VP ineffective.

-Students who utilize the Multicultural Resource Center (MRC) are unaware ofthe relationship between the Vice President of Student Affairs and the MRC.

iii. Assistant Vice President for Multicultural Services: Provide leadership and support for the establishment and administration of multicultural student recruiting initiatives and the development and administration of departments and programs that serve the needs of multicultural and diverse student populations.

-Under the current Student Affairs hierarchy, the Assistant Vice President has neglected multicultural students, and actively hindered the development of multicultural student organizations and programming.

-When entering the MRC, the Assistant VP makes no attempt to address the Black students, who utilize the center the most.

-The Assistant Vice President has openly expressed negative and discriminatory views about students of color, both inside and outside of the MRC, to other faculty and students; therefore, perpetuating negative stereotypes.

e. To best uphold the “cultural competence” pillar of the university’s public affairs mission, Multicultural Services should be governed by an administrative cabinet member of an ethnic minority.

2.     We demand that the university request an audit from an outside party, and present a budget for all Multicultural services by the end of March 2016.

a.     This audit shall include, but is not limited to:

i. The “Multicultural Assistant Grant,”

ii. And the last five fiscal years up to Fall 2015.

b.     The audit and budget should be published to the university website in laymen’s terms and made easily accessible to all interested persons. This audit should:

i. Enumerate the channels of income for Multicultural services,

ii. Break down departmental budgets (i.e. Trio, Access Programs, and Multicultural Programs),

iii. Allow an account for the “leftover money” being used to complete the Diversity Center as well as

iv. Document the creation, restructuring and subsequent departmental shift of Multicultural Services from the Division of Diversity & Inclusion to the Division of Student Affairs.

3.     We demand that this list of demands be placed in the The Long-Range Plan which is defined on the Missouri State University’s website as a guiding document that charts Missouri State’s path toward achieving its mission. The University utilizes its Long-Range Plan to decide how to allocate resources, determine what initiatives should be pursued, expanded and dissolved, and to make other strategic decisions.

a.     The demands fulfill the defined purpose of the Long-Range Plan.

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In order to see a cross-section of opinions regarding the nature of “The Demands,” check out these College Confidential forum threads:
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So there you have it — a look at the current mood on college campuses around the nation. If you are a high school student (or a parent of a high school student), you can make up your own mind about the legitimacy and effectiveness of the various student movements referenced above. From my perspective, I see the role of higher education as striving to deliver knowledge, skills, and an atmosphere of  critical thinking to its students.
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If you’re interested in acquiring those things in college, you’ll have to decide if activism such as demonstrated in “The Demands” will enhance or detract from your college experience. The choice is yours.
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Be sure to see my other college-related articles on College Confidential.