UC Santa Cruz caves to admin building occupiers' demands

Kara Zupkus
D.C. Campus Correspondent

  • The University of California, Santa Cruz has agreed to meet every one of the demands issued by students from the African/Black Student Alliance after they held a three-day sit-in on campus.
  • The students demanded a guarantee that all "African Black Caribbean identified students" be allowed to live in an African American-themed house for all four years.
  • The protesters also demanded "mandatory in-person diversity competency training" for all new first-year students.
  • 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.

    "What's next? Should students take the law into their own hands whenever they want something?"   

    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.”

    [RELATED: Civil rights group challenges UConn over blacks-only dorm plan]

    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.”

    [RELATED: 13-hour Providence College sit-in ends with president signing list of demands]

    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





    Kara Zupkus

    Kara Zupkus

    D.C. Campus Correspondent

    Kara Zupkus is a Washington, D.C. Campus Correspondent, and reports liberal bias and abuse on campus for Campus Reform. She studies Political Science and Journalism at The George Washington University, where she serves as treasurer of GW's Chapter of Young America's Foundation.

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