Student protests spread to more than 100 campuses nationwide

Demands range from changing mascots to changing presidents

Inspired by students at the University of Missouri, student activists at other schools say they also experience cultures of racism and sexism. The students are demanding administrators take stronger action—or threatening to oust the leaders altogether.

By some estimates, the protests have spread to more than 100 campuses nationwide since the University of Missouri's chancellor and system president resigned on November 9.

Here is a roundup of some examples from the last week.

A group of black ministers at New Jersey-based Kean University is calling for President Dawood Farahi to resign, saying that he has not taken sufficient action to protect black students from threats to their safety.

The interim president of Towson University in Maryland signed a pledge to address concerns of black students and others after hours of reviewing, editing, and negotiating in his office. Interim president Timothy Chandler says that if he does not uphold his pledge, he will resign.

In California, Occidental College students held sit-ins and protests for several days until last Thursday, when leaders agreed to several student demands. Among other changes, the administration promoted the chief diversity officer to a vice president and increased funding for support services. However, the board refused to fire President Jonathan Veitch, saying he is doing a good job as leader.

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

In Massachusetts, between 300 and 500 Smith College students participated in a sit-in to share their thoughts and experiences on race.

Amherst College students protested Lord Jeff, the school's unofficial mascot—and a group of faculty members voted to drop Lord Jeff last week. The mascot is named after Lord Jeffrey Amherst, who is thought to have endorsed spreading smallpox among Native Americans with infected blankets. 

Black law professors at Harvard University awoke last week to find black tape over their portraits. Hundreds of students, faculty, and community members gathered to discuss issues of race on the campus.

Princeton University students held a 32-hour sit-in in the president's office until leaders agreed to consider removing President Woodrow Wilson's name from some locations on campus for his "racist legacy" (Curwen, et al., Los Angeles Times, 11/18; Campbell, Baltimore Sun, 11/19; Jaschik, Inside Higher Ed, 11/20).

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