“We DEMAND a 4% annual increase in Black student enrollment from EACH of the Americas, the Caribbean and continent of Africa starting in 2016 to accumulate to a 40% increase by 2022.”
“We DEMAND a concerted effort to increase the percentage of Black students and specifically Black female identifying instrumentalists in the Jazz department.”
“We DEMAND that Black student leaders be provided a $8.20/hr stipend for their continuous organizing efforts.”
“We DEMAND a structural change in institutional graduation requirements: Intro to the Black Experience or a similar course must be instituted as a mandatory requirement for all students before graduation.”
“Departmental requirements for students to take Western/Classical centered courses must be eliminated. If NOT then we demand all students MUST also take an equivalent course in the African Diaspora . . . For example, in the Dance Department students are required to take Ballet& Contemporary I & II, therefore students should be required to take West African I & II.”
“We DEMAND a 6% annual increase in grant offers versus loan offers for Black students for the next 5 years leading to a 30% increase by 2021.”
“We DEMAND that a mandatory professional development program be developed for faculty . . . that will help facilitate their understanding of the ways in which racial capitalism, settler colonialism, and other forms of violent oppression inform and shape instructional methods for the disciplinary content of their courses.”
“We DEMAND that Jazz Curriculum in the Conservatory be reflective of the students [sic] musical focus. Students SHOULD NOT be forced to take heavily based classical courses . . . and seeing as how most Jazz students are of the Africana community, they should not be forced to take courses rooted in whiteness.”
“We DEMAND that spaces throughout the Oberlin College campus be designated as safe spaces for Africana-identifying students. Afrikan Heritage House should not be the only space allotted for the promotion and acknowledgement of our community specific needs. We DEMAND that no less than one full room or space be given to this need in: Wilder Hall, The Science Center, Mudd Library.”
“We DEMAND a written form that assures us of the institution’s commitment to increase the number of black psychologists within the Counseling Center. Furthermore, we DEMAND that Black students be able to sit in on the interviews of . . . candidates in order to ensure that these professionals cater to the needs of the Black students. We also DEMAND the hiring of Black healers/ non[-]western health practitioners because not everyone finds comfort and healing solely from a psychologist.”
I hope these demands, excuse me, DEMANDS, get more publicity than they have; I only heard of them a week ago.
It would be interesting to know what percentage of black students at Oberlin view this list of demands as justified. And what do the less militant black students think when they hear this list? Are they embarrassed by it, but afraid to voice that opinion for fear of being labeled Toms?
Will these demands make alumni more inclined to give more money to the college? (Alumni donations are a college's lifeblood.) Will they make the white students more sympathetic to the black students? Will this list encourage more interracial friendships?
To his credit, Oberlin College President Marvin Krislov said last week that he would not respond to this list. At the same time, it seems poetic justice that these demands would be made at Oberlin, which has always been one of the most left wing campuses in the country.