The Black Student Task Force released a list of demands to the University of Oregon administration Nov. 17 aiming to address on campus racial issues.
The task force is comprised of the UO Black Women of Achievement and the Black Student Union.
Some of the demands from the task force include: creation of an African-American Opportunities Program, hiring black faculty “across all academic disciplines”, and renaming all KKK-related buildings on campus — specifically Deady Hall.
Shaniece Curry, the External Director of the UO Black Women of Achievement, says that black students do not feel safe, respected, nor supported on campus. In the list of demands, the task force states that the “UO remains unsafe and unwelcoming for Black Students” with students experiencing “historical structural violence […], cultural insensitivity and racism.”
“There’s a certain demographic in our state and our campus that is not being catered to and those are black lives,” Curry said. “There is not enough resources on campus for black students on campus to really thrive.”
To change this, the task force is working with the administration, including President Michael Schill, to “create a healthy and positive campus climate for Black Students,” according to the list of demands. In Schill’s opening remarks at today’s “Lessons from Mizzou: A Campus Conversation” event, which was created to generate a conversation between students, faculty and administrators regarding race at the UO, Schill said he was optimistic that the demands will be met.
“Some of these requests will be easier to achieve than others, but I believe we can make good progress in the coming weeks and months on most, if not all, of those requests,” Schill said.
The release of the demands follows the recent march organized by the Black Women of Achievement last Thursday, Nov. 12, where about 500 students marched to demonstrate solidarity with Black students from the University of Missouri and to address issues that Black students face at the UO.
Here is the complete list of demands:
- Change the names of all of the KKK-related buildings on campus.
- Create an African-American Opportunities program that is comparable, in scope and impact, to the Opportunities program for the Latino student population and community.
- Commit to creating a Funding Resource and Scholarship initiative that is designed exclusively to support and meet the unique needs of students that identify as Black/African American.
- Commit to having Ethnic Studies 101 as a graduation requirement.
- Commit to creating an Academic Residential Community (ARC) that will feature African-American history/Oregon Black Diaspora.
- Commit to hiring an African-American advisor/retention specialist as well as Black faculty across all academic disciplines, especially major UO departments such as Architecture, Business, Education, Math, and Science departments.
- Create a substantial endowment fund and support system to fund and open a Black Cultural Center.
- Commit to creating a Black Student Leadership Task Force.
- Commit to conducting seminars and workshops by bringing in a black faculty from a peer institution who specializes in Black history and contemporary black issues.
- Commit to creating a Student Advisory Board for The Office of Equity & Inclusion and Center for Multicultural Academic Excellence (CMAE).
- A commitment to immediate change of Fraternity & Sorority Life Baseline Standards for University recognition.
- Commit to immediately keeping and publishing data on efforts to increase Black student acceptance, retention, and safety.