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Oberlin College students circulate 14-page Demand List (Updated)

Oberlin College students circulate 14-page Demand List (Updated)

Seek to “deconstruct imperialism, white supremacy, capitalism, ableism, and a cissexist heteropatriarchy” and to divest from Israel.

Many college campuses are seeing sets of “Demands” issued by students to administrations, often seeking to suppress speech the students deem offensive and to increase faculty and student affirmative action policies and programs.

Hamilton College students using the name “The Movement” recently set what was believed to be a record 83 Demands. At least one of the Demands, for a “President of Color,” was promptly ignored by the college when it named its new President recently.

Oberlin College students, however, may be about to set a new record for length if not number of Demands.

Oberlin, a self-proclaimed progressive institution, has seen racial strife on campus in recent years, including The Great Oberlin College Racism Hoax of 2013 perpetrated primarily by a progressive white student trying to get the campus talking about race. Even after the hoax was exposed, the resulting campus conflict was exploited to advance “even more extreme policies.” (You can listen to my explanation of the hoax and result here.)

More recent strife on campus involved protests by the Black Student Union over the quality of food in the Afrikan Heritage House.

Oberlin also is known for non-racial activism, such at the “trigger warning” protests against the appearance of Christina Hoff Sommers.

A student tipped us off that starting last night students began circulating and signing a 14-page list of 50 separate demands, in the name of the Black Students Union (BSU).

As of this writing, I have not confirmed whether the list officially is from Oberlin BSU, or just created by some of its members.

Oberlin Black Students Union Demand List FB Post 2 Redacted

This post was on the Oberlin BDS Open Facebook group page:

Oberlin Black Students Union Demand Facebook Group Post redacted
In any event, as of this writing, over 400 people, most of whom are Oberlin students, have signed onto the Demand list.

Oberlin Black Students Union Demand Signatures

The Demands are addressed to the Trustees, President and other senior administrators

Oberlin Black Students Union Demands Top
Here is the opening paragraph:

Oberlin College and Conservatory is an unethical institution. From capitalizing on massive labor exploitation across campus, to the Conservatory of Music treating Black and other students of color as less than through its everyday running, Oberlin College unapologetically acts as unethical institution, antithetical to its historical vision. In the 1830s, this school claimed a legacy of supporting its Black students. However, that legacy has amounted to nothing more than a public relations campaign initiated to benefit the image of the institution and not the Africana people it was set out for. Along the same lines stated by UNC Chapel Hill students in their 2015 document “A Collective Response to AntiBlackness,” you include Black and other students of color in the institution and mark them with the words “equity, inclusion and diversity,” when in fact this institution functions on the premises of imperialism, white supremacy, capitalism, ableism, and a cissexist heteropatriarchy. Oberlin College and Conservatory uses the limited number of Black and Brown students to color in its brochures, but then erases us from student life on this campus. You profit off of our accomplishments and invisible labor, yet You expect us to produce personal solutions to institutional incompetencies. We as a College defined “high risk,” “low income,” “disadvantaged” community should not have to carry the burden of deconstructing the white supremacist, patriarchal, capitalist system that we took no part in creating, yet is so deeply embedded in the soil upon which this institution was built.

The stated Goals of the Demands are:

Our larger goals are to see:
1. An increase in Black and students of color represented in the institution from the Americas, including the Caribbean and Africa
2. An increase in Black administrators and faculty across departments and governing bodies
3. The divestment from all prisons and Israel
4. Exclusive Black safe spaces on campus
5. The active elimination of institutional complacency that allows violence against Black
students to thrive and persist
6. The eradication of hegemony in the curriculum across the College and Conservatory
7. The end of Oberlin College functioning as a gentrifying institution
8. An end to the erasure of Black contributions on this campus

If the Demands are not met, a “forceful response” is threatened:

As you will see these are not polite requests, but concrete and unmalleable demands. Failure to meet them will result in a full and forceful response from the community you fail to support.

The Demand List ends with another warning:

These are demands and not suggestions. If these demands are not taken seriously, immediate action from the Africana community will follow.

The Demands are separated by categories such as Admissions, Recruitment and Retention, Academics and Curriculum, Financial Health and Wellness Being of Black Students, Workers: Academic & Non-Academic, and Community: Oberlin & Beyond.

Here are samples from different categories:

We DEMAND a concerted effort to increase the percentage of Black students and specifically Black female identifying instrumentalists in the Jazz department. We would like to reiterate the demand for a 4% annual increase in the enrollment of Black students in the Jazz Department starting in 2016 to accumulate to 40% increase by the year 2022.

We DEMAND that all Black international students who are unable to return back to their home countries be provided with FREE housing during postsemester breaks such as but not limited to winter breaks.

We DEMAND financial aid workshops for Black students by Black financial aid officers so that students can fully understand the contents of their financial package and how it will change throughout their time at Oberlin College and Conservatory.

We DEMAND a structural change in institutional graduation requirements:
a. Intro to the Black Experience or a similar course must be instituted as a mandatory requirement for all students before graduation.
b. Departmental requirements for students to take Western/Classical centered courses must be eliminated, if NOT then we demand all students MUST also take an equivalent course in the African Diaspora.

We DEMAND that a mandatory professional development program be developed for faculty
across departments in the College & Conservatory that will help facilitate their understanding of the ways in which racial capitalism, settler colonialism, and other forms of violent oppression inform and shape instructional methods for the disciplinary content of their courses. We further DEMAND that the content of this information be integrated in their coursework. Furthermore, this training should broaden professors’ awareness of the kinds of issues students of color have to navigate when racially charged, traumatic events happen on campus and in the world and help faculty develop productive and appropriate responses to such circumstances.

We DEMAND a written form that assures us of the institution’s commitment to increase the number of black psychologists within the Counseling Center. Furthermore, we DEMAND that black students be able to sit in on the interviews of these HIGHLY QUALIFIED candidates in order to ensure that these professionals cater to the needs of the Black students.
a. We also DEMAND the hiring of Black healers/ non western health practitioners because not everyone finds comfort and healing solely from a psychologist.

We DEMAND a 6% annual increase in grant offers versus loan offers for Black students for the next 5 years leading to a 30% increase by 2021. This deadline should NOT be taken as a reversal point back to the previous policy and should be maintained as a minimum.

We DEMAND an adequate increase in funding for internships and career opportunities for all Black students that is awarded appropriately. For instance, a $3500 internship fund for a low income student with a 3 month internship in New York City does not make any sustainable sense considering the high cost of living. We further DEMAND that we have direct input in the structuring of the rubric used to grant these funds.

We DEMAND that spaces throughout the Oberlin College campus be designated as a safe space for Africana identifying students. Afrikan Heritage House should not be the only space allotted for the promotion and acknowledgement of our community specific needs.
a. We DEMAND that no less than one full room or space be given to this need in:
i. Wilder Hall
ii. The Science Center
iii. Mudd Library

We DEMAND these professors be granted tenure IMMEDIATELY:
● Adenike Sharpley, Artist in Residence Africana Studies Department
● Bernard Matambo, Assistant Professor of Creative Writing
● Charles Peterson, Assistant Professor in Africana Studies

We DEMAND that Black student leaders be provided a $8.20/hr stipend for their continuous
organizing efforts around the well being of Black people on Oberlin’s campus, city and beyond.

Interestingly, in the list of demands as to the Community & Beyond, is a mention of divesting from Israel (emphasis added):

We DEMAND that Oberlin College stop functioning as a gentrifying institution by:
● The immediate rehiring of community members who worked at the Oberlin Inn before its renovation, accompanied with a Professional Development Day to train them on the updated work skills needed to successfully navigate their job responsibilities.
● The immediate discontinuation of the No Trespass List, because it disproportionately and discriminatorily targets Black people from the town of Oberlin.
● The immediate implementation of a free bussing system for Oberlin Elementary, Middle & High School students, paid for by the College.
The immediate divestment from Israel, who has exploited many African descendant peoples seeking refuge. Furthermore, because the oppressive and violent acts towards Palestinians mirrors the anti Blackness
currently in the United States.

● The implementation of a program allowing willing community members to take one course per semester at Oberlin College for FREE.
● The immediate establishment of a Payment In Lieu of Taxes (PILOT) program by the College that is approved by the City of Oberlin.

This no doubt reflects the intense efforts of anti-Israel groups to tie problems in the black community to Israel. We have written about that effort many times, and it is the major focus of the Boycott Divestment and Sanctions movement. In this regard, Oberlin has a long history of anti-Israel activism. It was the first or one of the first student governments to pass a divestment resolution, and it has had, at least in the past, a strong anti-Zionist atmosphere. In prior years flyers were posted on campus substituting a swastika for the Star of David on the Israeli flag.

(added) Earlier this semester there was a student proposal for divestment from fossil fuels and Israel, that the Trustees rejected. Again, the tactic of BDS is to tie Israel to unrelated issues and try to sneak in the anti-Israel agenda to a more popular cause. We have documented this at other campuses, as well.

(added) The Oberlin Students for a Free Palestine endorsed the list of Demands (h/t Blake Neff):

After the 2013 hoax, we reported on a psychoanalysis of the motivations by a Professor, who concluded:

The answer I have proposed was that reality had been redefined at Oberlin and that, within that redefinition, the charge of racism was, in effect, structural, and had come to provide the meaning of people’s college experience and, indeed, of their lives.

That may also be the explanation for the increasing number and fury of the Demands at Oberlin and other campuses.

UPDATE 12-17-2015: There had been some question whether the Demands were for real, and on whose behalf they were made. The Chronicle-Telegram reports that the Demands have formally been delivered to the college on behalf of the Black Students Union:

Students in Oberlin College’s Black Student Union have issued an extensive list of demands to the college administration — seeking policy changes to address what it says are underlying racial tensions on campus that have black students fearing for their safety.

The document was reportedly hand-delivered to the offices of President Marvin Krislov and Eric Estes, vice president and dean of students. It was also addressed to the college’s board of trustees.

It was signed by more than 700 people, including hundreds of students, alumni and supporters, said Jasmine Adams, a senior sociology major.

Adams said she is one of eight co-authors and a member of the Black Student Union, which goes by ABUSUA on campus.

College spokesman Scott Wargo confirmed the document was officially presented to the administration Wednesday afternoon. College administrators were unavailable Wednesday, he said.

Wargo said the college will need time to evaluate the document.

The Chronicle-Telegram provides this link to the Demands. It appears to be the same document Legal Insurrection obtained (embedded below) though I haven’t compared it word for word.


Oberlin College Black Student Union Institutional Demands

[Featured Image: Oberlin College President Marvin Krislov from Oberlin Promo Video]


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What a pack of racist crap, and thinly veiled Maxist extortion.

I’d prepare a strong LEO response, complete with a table for processing expulsions from the institution.

    Milwaukee in reply to Ragspierre. | December 15, 2015 at 10:36 am

    Ragspierre: Too little too late. They have gone off the rails and are beyond saving. Sort of like their walking pneumonia has all of a sudden become galloping pneumonia and no amount of antibiotics can change the prognosis. See Hemingway: “How did you go bankrupt?”
    Two ways. Gradually, then suddenly.”

    Your fine solution would lead to the closing of the school. The current state means we know where they are and what they are doing. Oberlin graduates are now forever tarred. Closing the school means they would be dispersed in the population to infect others. Leave them where they are and hope they are a warning to others. However, the liberal-socialist-progressives who gave us Oberlin will merely cheer them on.

    Why do I hear echos of Neil Young ringing in my ears when I read stories like this?

    These college administrators better grow a sack and end this crap before a bunch of these SJW morons really get hurt.

[Oberlin College] “functions on the premises of imperialism, white supremacy, capitalism, ableism, and a cissexist heteropatriarchy…”

…and Star Wars is racist…

…and my k-cup is racist – it holds brown coffee in a white container. How gentrifying this must be to other coffee.

The outright insanity engulfing higher education is an issue of huge national importance, even national security, and should be addressed as such by the candidates. No nation can indefinitely survive the effluence of madness, civic hate and total intellectual and moral dysfunction emerging from our colleges every year.

A imaginary flashback to Oberlin College, 1975:

President & Board of Trustees – “What we need to do is proclaim Oberlin College a Progressive Institution, and teach progressive principles, so that by the year 2015, we will have a campus full of students trained to change the world in ways we have never dreamed.”

Any list of demands should be met with the answer: No. Now get back to class or you will fail.

    DaveGinOly in reply to JohnC. | December 16, 2015 at 12:07 am

    How about a response like this:
    “We agree with your estimation of Oberlin College – it’s corrupt, racist, and gentrifying. We apologize for any discomfort we have caused you. But we have no plans to change, so here’s your money back. Take it, and use it to go to school somewhere that’s more to your liking.”

      gmac124 in reply to DaveGinOly. | December 19, 2015 at 4:57 pm

      Dave I almost agree with your response. I would state it a little different though.

      “We agree with your estimation of Oberlin College – it’s corrupt, racist, and gentrifying. We apologize for any discomfort we have caused you. But we have no plans to change, so here’s the door.”

    siguiriya in reply to JohnC. | December 17, 2015 at 11:23 am

    Really, if the school provides such an awful experience to black students, why do they go there in the first place? Why not go to one of the predominantly black schools? That way the racial composition of the jazz band, the faculty, and everything else will be just what they want, and the entire campus will be a “safe space.”

I would like to see the Maoist excuse for a school organize as they teach. Adopt all of the demands so the demanded justice can take place.

Does anybody pay these high rents for an education here? What is the purpose of attending this place?

Create a monster and you get to live with a monster.

Hi monster, wuzup dog?

Heh… #SATscoresmatter

The best part of all of this is that there has to be many profs and other staff who have lived their whole careers thinking that they are making a positive difference in the lives and well-being of their minority students. Now they find out they are just ordinary, garden-variety “racists” the same as the worst Republican in the minds of those they have coddled and cocooned. That must be so fundamentally disappointing and discouraging to them.

What is most bewildering is that the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s fought for the right to use spaces and facilities equally, regardless of color. Yet, these lunatics are asking to go back to the way things were in the 1950s with separate spaces designated for blacks. I thought conservatives were supposed to be the throw backs.

    TX-rifraph in reply to phdwyphe. | December 15, 2015 at 2:06 pm

    Orwell knew these Marxists. They call themselves progressives but they are regressive:

    King = Ruling class in D.C. = power
    Nobles = Wall street/green cronies = money
    Serfs = Everybody else = workers at subsistence levels (the freeloaders will be forced to work when elections no longer matter)

    No middle class then and a shrinking one now.

    alaskabob in reply to phdwyphe. | December 15, 2015 at 5:18 pm

    Going a step further, the racists wanted “separate but equal”… which it never was while the BLM/Crybullies/Etc want separate and unequal which is what they are achieving in some schools. Birth, color and social level used to force people into castes… and now it is again…. We are talking about Black Privilege, Progressive Privilege, LBGT-M-i-c-k-e-y-m-o-u-s-e Privilege.

ugottabekiddinme | December 15, 2015 at 12:17 pm

A 14-pager, huh? Well, here’s my 1-page response:

“In a word, NO.

“Now, get back to classes and study.

“Otherwise, withdraw to make way for a student who wishes to learn.”

Before Judeo-Christian religion/morality and capitalism, there was slavery, and other assortments of left-wing institutions, that sought to consolidate capital under minority control through establishment of monopolies and progressive restrictions of liberty.

White represents the diversity of the color, and, actually, energy spectrum.

It’s not the patriarchy unless you believe in the Father.

The science supports a vast conspiracy by the matriarchy lead by Mother Nature.

That’s where individuals living with a limited allowance, limited epidermal and mental diversity, and limited prospects through transgender orientations need to look for answers.

Oberlin had a commencement speech by Mumia Al Jamal. Teleconferenced the speech for the graduation.
What more do you need to know about his so called college.

The next president should specifically cut funding for any federal subsidies for Oberlin involving toilet paper. The students will then have a practical use for their list of the ‘demands.’

The Social Justice Warriors (Can someone please come up with e better name for these ratbags) are setting the stage for 2016 becoming a year of rage. As far as the universities are concerned, most will concede to the ratbags, because the leadership is aligned with the protesters.

buckeyeminuteman | December 15, 2015 at 1:40 pm

Students at $60K per year private, liberal-arts colleges are going off the rails at the faculty and staff who taught them this Marxist crap. This is actually pretty humorous.

Zowie. That is most impressive. Oberlin students – just a few years out of high school – are soooooooooo smart. Can’t wait until they get out in the world and use those smarts to find out “demands” don’t cut it out here.

What is ‘abelism’? Does that mean that students who study hard and get better grades will be punished?

    [I downvoted you by accidental mis-click, is there a way to undo that?]

    You ask, “What is ‘abelism’?” As you suspect, it’s the name they give to the awful practice of allowing those with natural talents to actually succeed compared to those who are “less abled” due to stupidity, laziness, inability to play well with others, etc.

    Read Vonnegut’s short story “Harrison Bergeron” (online copies exist) for the logical conclusion of the SJW’s illogical anger over this fact of life.

JVW, writing at Patterico’s Pontifications, has chosen a new name for Social Justice Warriors:
“I have decided that I much prefer the new term ‘crybully’ to the previously-employed ‘social justice warrior.’ The former provides an adequate sense of the contempt with which these youngsters should be held, while the latter has a ring to it that is almost noble. I plan to retire my use of SJW for the new term.”

Dana (Editor) at The First Street Journal, discusses the use of the crybully name:
“The only problem that I have with ‘crybully’ is that a real bully is capable of beating you to a pulp, whether you resist or not. The crybullies are wholly dependent upon their victims surrendering without a fight, and could never win against actual resistance.
“They are, of course, most offended when we do have the temerity to fight back; the only polite thing to do is hand them a tissue for their tears.”

The origin of the term “crybully” is explained in a Breitbart post:
“Daniel Greenfield at FrontPage Mag writes that the marvelous term ‘crybully’ was coined by Julie Burchill at The Spectator, who described them as ‘a hideous hybrid of victim and victor, weeper and walloper.’
“Greenfield defines a crybully as ‘the abuser who pretends to be a victim. His arguments are his feelings. He comes armored in identity politics entitlement and is always yelling about social justice, or crying social justice tears.'”

    J Motes in reply to J Motes. | December 15, 2015 at 3:52 pm

    Oops, that was supposed to be a Reply to davod (1:39 pm), who asked for a better name for the Social Justice Warriors.

Expel them. Their job is to get an education, not to reshape the university in their petty and racist image and likeness.

    “Dear Students: Since you clearly feel you have better ideas on how to run a university than we do, we are expelling you so that you can get right to work starting and running your own somewhere so as to grace the world with the kind of learning institution you so fervently wish existed.”

Kind of wondering about the kids. Should they ever leave the “safe space” at Oberlin, when they… maybe… fill out an application form for a *gasp* job, what will they list as their biggest accomplishment?
I don’t think abolishing capitalism will read very well to those who need to hire people to actually help a company make a profit to survive.
Maybe basket weaving will become a huge industry in time for their eventual departure from *skool* and they can finally learn a valuable skill.

“We would like to reiterate the demand for a 4% annual increase in the enrollment of Black students in the Jazz Department starting in 2016 to accumulate to 40% increase by the year 2022.”

Apparently they don’t teach math at Oberlin.

“[…], to the Conservatory of Music treating Black and other students of color as less than through its everyday running, […]”

Nor do they seem to impart the ability to write a coherent sentence.

Well, you see so many people with hostages nowadays and you say “Hey, I’d like some, too!” So I’ve got three of ’em, they’re really nice people. We get along great, they’re tied in a sack outside at the top of the flagpole. And I’m gonna blow ’em up at midnight, too.

Unless, of course, I get my three demands.
A hundred thousand in cash,
getaway car
and I want the letter M stricken from the English language.

See, you have to make one crazy demand, that way, if you get caught, you can plead insanity.

Ha…. Getaway car.

Apologies to Steve Martin

There are a lot of ways to describe that screed, but “eloquent” is not one of them.

The Chairman of the English Department should have to answer for this!