A radical student group at the University of Chicago calling themselves, UChicago United, has released a list of 50 demands that must be met by the university. The demands include segregated housing, six racially centered programs, and a sociology class focusing solely on Islamic history.
UChicago United however did not detail what would occur should the school not give in to these demands but simply stated on a Facebook page for a rally accompanying these demands that the list “will serve as the launch of a long-term campaign fighting for marginalized students.”
According to the event’s Facebook page, UChicago United includes groups such as the Arab Student Association, the PanAsia Solidarity Coalition, the Organization of Black Students, and the African Caribbean Students Association.
A copy of UChicago United’s list of demands available as a Google document contains 10 demands from the organization in general, as well as additional demands from various groups associated with UChicago United.
The first 10 demands include that the university fund and run cultural houses, specifically those for black, Latin, and Asian houses; that the school increase the number of “faculty of color;” and that at least half the staff involved in the hiring process be “people of color.”
The students also demanded a revitalization of the University of Chicago’s Bias Response Team, which is a campus advisory group that provides assistance in determining how to handle an alleged “bias incident” or any action against a student that is motivated by bias, regardless of whether or not the incident is a hate crime.
Currently, the Bias Response Team does not have any disciplinary capabilities. However, UChicago United wants the capacity of the team extended and seeks “infrastructure for transparent disciplinary processes against faculty and staff who are reported” to the team.
Additionally, the students demanded that the core curriculum requirements for graduation include a “Diversity and Inclusion” requirement and that the school offer “humanities and/or Social Science Core sequence on the works of the Islamic Golden Age and the important connection it makes to Western thought.”
Also included is a demand that the university “place limits and/or restrictions on the funding allotted to student organizations that are accused and/or found guilty of discriminatory behavior.”
The groups within UChicago United listed their own demands, including housing for ethnic members of the groups they claim to represent.
Similarly, a student group at the University of Santa Cruz called the Afrikan/Black Student Alliance made demands of their university in early May but took the action of occupying a university building and blocking all entry to it until their demands were met. The university caved to the students demands after three days, prompting the addition of three more demands from the Alliance. The student group says that if these demands are not met by fall 2017, then they will take over more university buildings.