Yale students announce diversity demands

President given until November 18 to respond

A group of minority students at Yale University delivered a list of demands to the president's house on Thursday night along with a five-day response deadline, student Isaac Stanley-Becker reports for the Washington Post.

Several hundred students marched to President Peter Salovey's on-campus residence, where women from the Next Yale organization read him the demands as he and his wife listened.

The demands were the result of two days of discussions among members of the Afro-American, Asian American, Latino, and Native American cultural centers.

As protests spread, students aim to oust leaders at other campuses

"I feel incredible strongly that there is no place for racism at Yale," Solovey told the students on Thursday night. "I respect what you're trying to accomplish. We'll be in touch."

Next Yale asked Salovey and the administration to "implement immediate and lasting policies that will reduce the intolerable racism that students of color experience on campus every day."

The six multi-step "small but concrete steps toward this goal" included demands that:

  • Calhoun College—a dorm that honors slavery proponent John C. Calhoun—be renamed for a person of color;
  • Additional resources, including personnel, be directed to financial aid assistance, mental health care, and health care;
  • Nicholas and Erika Christakis, centers of the Halloween email unrest, be removed from their positions of Master and Associate Master of a residence hall; and
  • Students have access to food stipends and residence halls during school breaks.

The demonstration took place seven days after Salovey told minority students the school "failed" them by not ensuring an inclusive environment. Since then, about 400 faculty members signed an open letter supporting student activists working to take down the "institutionalized inequalities" at Yale.

Guidelines: Listen, don't arrest, during student protests

"Calls for greater diversity do not by themselves resolve the experience of racism and devaluation, and maintaining silence about racial inequality on campus only exacerbates the problem," faculty wrote.

The faculty senate also pledged to discuss the issue at their meeting this week (Stanley-Becker, "Grade Point," Washington Post, 11/13).

Thoughts on the story? Tweet us at @eab_daily and let us know.


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