U. of South Carolina students to stage walkout Monday morning

Protest fever swept college campuses last week, and, according to a leaked Google Doc, will continue into this week at the University of South Carolina.

A Twitter user by the name of “DrinkingTicket” leaked screenshots of a Google Doc containing a list of demands and plans for a walkout and protest on University of South Carolina’s campus. DrinkingTicket’s Twitter biography states that it’s “UofSC’s info authority on student news” and its website allows users to send anonymous tips.

According to the screenshots posted, the document and the walkout are named, “Here’s No Place Like Home” and will be publicized and spread by the hashtag #2020Vision and Twitter user @USC2020Vision. The document warns not to follow the account or publicize the hashtag until Monday.

The organizers formulated a list of demands, including “Acknowledgement of USC’s slave history by including in the historical portion of tours and adding plaques/markers to buildings built by slaves,” “[e]xpansion and improvement of minority recruitment and creation of a minority scholars program through the Honors College,” and “[p]olicies and accommodations for trans students including gender neutral housing and bathrooms and streamlined processes for changing gender markers and names within university databases.”

It also calls for increased funding for both the counseling center, which would be asked to offer more appointments free of charge, and the Office of Multicultural Student Affairs, which they would also like to be housed in a new building “that celebrates all identities.”

Moreover, it declares that “all faculty and staff, especially those who interact with students on a regular basis, must participate in a mandatory diversity training provided by the Office of Diversity and Inclusion,” and calls for the “creation of a Social Justice minor and cognate to expand its current offerings to undergraduate students.”

The full list of twelve demands can be read here.

In addition to the demands, USC 2020 Vision created and submitted a letter to President Harris Pastides. Within the letter, the organizers state that the university has failed to address USC’s history of racism claiming that USC was “built on the backs of enslaved people.” The organizers lay out more descriptive demands in the letter, including the creation of a diverse Student Board of Trustees that will assist in implementing their demands before the year 2020. The letter is signed by “The 2020 Visionaries.”

On Nov. 13, Pastides sent a letter to the USC community touting the school’s “pro-active stance on diversity and inclusion,” but the initiatives he highlighted were apparently insufficient for the walkout organizers, who were still coordinating their plans two days later.

Under the communication portion of the walkout document, the organizers explicitly state, “Communication rules - This is highly secret until Sunday night! At 7:00 pm you may share this logistical document with your membership and friends.”

The document also warns students not to use university email accounts or Facebook groups, nor to share information with USC employees or law enforcement, and advises using verbal communication like phone calls or private messengers.

Once USC 2020 Vision’s attempts at privacy were squandered, @USC2020Vision tweeted, “Since all information has been released, please feel free to share the petition and use the hashtag #2020vision. See y'all tomorrow :).”

The schedule for the event reads, “At 7:00 pm on Sunday, Student leaders and organizations spread word. On Monday at 10:45 am, the social media blitz begins. At 11:00 am, Walk out begins. At 11:30 am, the march from Longstreet to Osborne begins.”

According to organizers, if attendance is not possible, then the next best thing is to sign a Change.org petition that details the demands of the protest.

If a student is approached by media and does not wish to talk to them, #2020Vision organizers suggest finding a designated media representative to speak in place of said student.

A map was included in the document which detailed the protesters’ route from Longstreet to Osborne.

Students have already taken to Twitter to express their discontent with the USC 2020 Vision Twitter page and also to lend support to the movement. Twitter user @hodge_cody tweeted humorously, “Could we add meal at anytime, adequate parking, and a better football team to the list? @USC2020Vision,” while @rheaalicehughes tweeted, “Inclusivity should be a standard for everyone at this university!”

Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @ChrisNuelle