Students demand U Chicago fund race-specific housing

A University of Chicago student organization has released a list of nearly 50 demands calling for the creation of at least six separate racially-themed academic departments.

According to a copy of the demands obtained by Campus Reform, a coalition of student groups known as “UChicago United” has called for the establishment of a “Race and Ethnic Studies Department,” a “Black Studies Academic Department,” an “African Studies Department,” a “Caribbean Studies Department,” an “Asian American Studies Program,” plus a “Center for African and Caribbean Studies” and a “Latinx Affairs Office,” all of which would exist independently but receive funding from the university.

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The ultimatum also asks for a set of “university-funded and run cultural houses, specifically a Black House, a Latinx House, and an Asian House,” before turning its attention to the school’s core curriculum, demanding “a new ‘Diversity and Inclusion’ graduation requirement” that would be “primarily focused on any US-centric structural oppression, such as race, gender, and sexuality.”

Additionally, the document twice calls for “the creation of a pre-orientation program specifically for incoming students of color,” which would “familiarize students with campus resources and multicultural registered student organizations” while easing “the transition to the university’s campus climate and academic demands.”

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The coalition also demands a “revitalization of the Bias Response Team,” including additional funding, the hiring of “individuals with the specific responsibility of running” the program, and the building of “infrastructure for transparent disciplinary processes against faculty and staff who are reported to the Bias Response Team.”

In contrast to its own appeals for money to fund the new initiatives, UChicago United also requests that “limits and/or restrictions” should be placed “on the funding allotted to student organizations that are accused and/or found guilty of discriminatory behavior.”

Finally, the set of demands concludes with specific requests for illegal immigrant students, asking for an increase in the “recruitment and admission” of “undocumented Latinx students,” as well as “full financial, legal, and mental health resources” for such students.

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The demands were presented to the university’s administration Friday, according to a Facebook event page, at an on-campus rally that served “as the launch of a long-term campaign fighting for marginalized students.”

Campus Reform reached out to the university for comment on the matter, but did not receive a response in time for publication.

Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @AGockowski