Statement of Intent:
Centre College has been an institution that holds in the highest esteem its sense of community characterized by compassion, understanding, and kindness. However, this sense of community is not felt by all its members. This sentiment is not felt by members of marginalized groups, Black Students, in particular.
As a result of recent racial incidents on campus targeting black students, WE, a group of Black Students had a safe space meeting to check in and process with one another the events, and from that meeting WE realized that WE were facing similar issues regarding unmet needs, especially in regard to our safety on this campus- across departments. In an effort to use our voices as students to meet these needs, WE came up with the following demands.
WE, a group of Black Students, have drafted our demands for respective offices and departments to ensure that our safety and needs are met. WE are aware and acknowledge that our identities intersect, and that we belong to many different affinity groups, all within different positions of power. Thus, this document cannot begin to address all unmet needs of Black students, nor the needs of marginalized groups as a whole. However, WE have found it necessary to keep these demands in respect to the needs of Black Students given the unique historical, social, and political marginalization that Black People have faced within the United States at large, and at predominately white institutions such as Centre College, more specifically.
WE are aware of other organizing efforts by other marginalized groups, and we remain in solidarity with the fellow demands and initiatives of these groups. Given the constraints of time and the unique challenges WE face on Centre College’s campus, these demands remain focused on the unmet needs of Black Students.
Lastly, we acknowledge that Centre College has taken positive and important first steps toward meeting some of the unmet needs of marginalized students. The following demands are in the spirit of sustaining the momentum, increasing transparency, and providing more intentional next steps in creating an inclusive environment. Thus, more accurately reflecting the compassionate, understanding, and kind community that Centre College aims to be.
Statement of Demands:
Within these demands, there are varying levels of urgency. The demands that we denote as “urgent” are marked “*” and bolded and expected to be agreed upon and fulfilled before we leave our protest. The short term demands are marked “**” and are expected to be completed by the time we get back on campus Fall of 2018. Our long term goals are marked “***” and we expect for our long term goals that administration and respective departments provide evidence that they are actively working towards reaching those goals through monthly updates of steps taken.
Our demands for respective offices and departments are as follows:
WE demand the active recruitment of students of color on sports teams;**
WE demand clear transparency to the general public regarding action steps and consequences taken when dealing with instances of racial discrimination/ misconduct with individuals on the athletic team (including athletes, coaches, and department heads.)**
WE demand that the ENTIRE athletic department undergo racial sensitivity training and training on how to be inclusive of individuals on sports teams;**
WE demand the active recruitment of head coaches who are of color, have a background working with diverse groups and are sensitive in working with those populations;**
WE demand that head coaches be required to attend at least three events and/ or training on campus that celebrate and educate individuals on diversity and inclusion;**
WE demand that the athletic department undergo a seasonal evaluation in order to assess whether they are being fair and inclusive;**
WE demand that there be a mandatory reporting tool, where ALL instances of racial, sexists, homophobic instances of discrimination be noted and reported.**
Department of Public Safety:
WE demand that DPS undergo racial sensitivity training and training on diversity and inclusion;**
WE demand that DPS officers be required to engage with students through intentional programming such as the ones created for EXO;**
WE demand that there be a system of checks and balances established, that ensures DPS officers are held accountable for their actions and a reporting protocol that runs through the diversity office, where students are able to report DPS officers for inappropriate conduct.**
WE demand transparency in the hiring process of DPS officers and a voice in who is here to protect and serve our community;**
WE demand an officer within the DPS office to be on-post at all times;*
WE demand that reports about misconduct regarding DPS officers, not be reported to DPS, rather it be reported to a different party, such as Human Resources;*
WE demand the immediate firing of Rick Johnson, given the many instances of racial discrimination against black students;*
WE demand an active recruitment of DPS officers of color. *
WE demand that Sodexo offer a wider variety of food options on a daily basis to accommodate cultural and religious dietary restrictions (ex. Halal food);**
WE demand that Sodexo accurately labels food options, especially in respect to cultural dishes, (ex. African Curry, Asian Noodles);*
WE demand an investigation into Sodexo’s evaluation processes in determining promotions of Sodexo workers;**
WE demand a racial and cultural sensitivity training for all Sodexo workers;**
WE demand student input and transparency upon the renewal of the Sodexo’s contract to evaluate to what extent the continue to meet the dietary needs of students.*
WE demand clear transparency to the general public regarding action steps and consequences taken when dealing with instances of misconduct;*
WE demand a full time Diversity and Inclusion Director, who works directly with students;*
WE demand a full time Diversity and Inclusion Coordinator, who works directly with students;* WE demand that students be involved in the hiring committee of the Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs and Diversity Initiatives;*
WE demand a temporary multicultural space and complete transparency of action plans with dates as to when and where the official multicultural space will be;*
WE demand the recruitment and hiring of counselors who reflect the demographics of the Centre College community at Parsons;*
WE demand that the College hire someone independent of the college when the College is conducting surveys relating to diversity and inclusion;**
We demand on-going training of diversity and inclusion for every department and office that is conducted independent of the college;**
WE demand an online reporting tool, where WE are able to report fellow students and faculty and staff, and are made aware of the disciplinary action steps taken.**
WE demand that the Centre directory incorporate information about demographics and include information about transfer students
WE demand, in solidarity with ALL DACA students for ALL backgrounds that Centre College declare themselves a sanctuary campus;*
WE demand an increased recruitment of professors of color at large, and specifically, within Division III;**
WE demand that students be required to attend at least four convocations that deal with topics of diversity and inclusion in order to receive convocation credit;**
WE demand that all new hires, both faculty and staff alike undergo diversity and inclusion trainings as apart of their onboarding process;**
WE demand that faculty undergo continuous diversity and inclusion training and a system of accountability for all faculty through the distribution of surveys to assess professor’s inclusivity within the classroom;**
WE recognize that these demands focus on race, inclusion, and diversity, however, we demand that there be a mechanism set in place to address other needs of marginalized groups on campus.*
Title IX Office:
WE demand transparency of the vision, goals, and action items of the SPEAC and Title IX team at the beginning of each academic semester;**
WE demand increased outreach from the Title IX team to the student body through independent programming, building relationships with different organizations on campus, and increased physical presence of Title IX team members on campus;**
WE demand a third party entity conduct survey and focus groups regarding Title IX related issue as an additional form of data collection;**
WE demand Title IX to critically evaluate its investigative processes and general policies in respect of intersectionality to ensure that complexities such as race, sexuality, gender identity, citizenship status, socioeconomic status, and religion are taken into account when investigating cases;***
WE demand open student forums to discuss policy related changes to Title IX;**
WE demand a recruiting and application process that reaches and reflects all demographics equitably on the SPEAC committee;**
WE demand the release of the full report of the data collected from the campus climate survey regarding sexual misconduct;**
WE demand that the Deputy Title IX Coordinator make themselves visible to the campus community through outreach, as well as makes themselves available for those going through the IX investigative process.*
Given these demands, we request that the college will not penalize, prosecute, or punish any students, faculty, and staff involved in the protests taking place. We request:
1. Students who are currently on academic probation will not be unfairly targeted for missing class;
2. Students who have missed a project, quiz, or test should be allowed to make up the assignment;
3. Students who are on athletic teams and/or organizations not be unfairly targeted for their absences during their participation.
If you have any questions, comments, or concerns, there will be a Cowan Table to discuss these demands on: Monday, April 30th and Tuesday, May 1st from 11:30am -1:00pm and 5:00pm – 8:00pm.