UC Santa Cruz caves to admin building occupiers' demands
University of California, Santa Cruz Chancellor George Blumenthal caved to a list of demands created by students in the African/Black Student Alliance on Thursday.
The students had locked themselves in for three days in an administrative building on campus, Kerr Hall, covering the windows with protest posters, locking the doors, and threatening not to leave until their demands were met, according to KSBW.
The first demand was for housing, stating “that ALL [emphasis in original] African Black Caribbean identified students have a 4 year housing guarantee to live in the Rosa Parks African American Themed House.”
They also demanded that the university fund the exterior painting of the Rosa Parks African American Theme House, while later explaining that they couldn’t paint it themselves because “That’s vandalism and black students are often arrested and often sometimes shot down by police and we do not want to put ourselves at that type of risk.”
They wanted the exterior of the house to be painted “Pan-Afrikan colors” (red, green, and black) to represent “Black liberation, and represent our diaspora, and the goals of our people.”
The final item demanded “new incoming students from 2017-2018 school year forward (first years and transfers) go through a mandatory in-person diversity competency training in the event that the online module is not implemented by JUNE 2017," adding that the training should be "reviewed and approved by A/BSA board every two years" and that "every incoming student complete this training by their first day of class.”
Chancellor Blumenthal agreed to meet with the students to discuss their demands Thursday afternoon, emerging from the negotiations with an announcement that "the student demonstration in Kerr Hall that began Tuesday has ended, with both student protesters and campus administrators agreeing on a path forward.”
While he denounced the takeover of Kerr Hall, Blumenthal also defended the school's capitulation to the demands, asserting that “we see these new measures as ways to meaningfully improve the ABC [African, black, and Caribbean-identified] student experience here on campus–and in doing so improve our campus climate.”
Campus Reform reached out to the university for comment, but did not receive a response in time for publication.
Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @kara_kirsten