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Sarah Lawrence College “students of color” protesters issue 9-pages of demands, target conservative professor

Sarah Lawrence College “students of color” protesters issue 9-pages of demands, target conservative professor

“We demand that Samuel Abrams’ position at the College be put up to tenure review to a panel of the Diaspora Coalition and at least three faculty members of color.”

In early November 2018, we covered the story of a conservative Sarah Lawrence College professor Samuel Abrams who came under attack after writing an Op-Ed in The New York Times advocating for diversity of opinion on campuses.

The campus social justice warriors, who claim to be devoted to diversity, didn’t appreciate the call for intellectual diversity, Sarah Lawrence Prof pens Op-Ed about lack of intellectual diversity, social justice warriors want him driven off campus.

As detailed in that post, student protesters demanded Abrams be removed from campus, and his office door was defaced. Abrams wrote about his in experience at The Spectator, The dangerous silence in higher education:

Within hours, my office door and surrounding corridor was vandalized. Pictures of my family were taken and bumper stickers that I had placed on the door to create a welcoming environment for students were stripped off. The vandals covered my door and surrounding hallway area with hateful paraphernalia intended to intimidate me into leaving the school. I received subsequent threats, and an alumna I have never met claims to be actively working on ways to ‘ruin my life’ while many others are demanding that my tenure be stripped all because I wrote a relatively tame article with which they disagree.

Following the defacement of my door, I was disappointed by the lack of a clear stand against violence and intimidation, and the lack of support for academic freedom and diversity of thought I expected from the College administrators. In fact, a note I received from a College official described the act as ‘alleged vandalism.’

There is a culture at Sarah Lawrence College which is regularly reinforced by various students, faculty, and administrators: tacitly regulate what topics are open to debate and identify which questions should simply be overlooked for fear that asking them could lead to significant negative consequences.

Abrams is under attack again by the campus social justice warriors.

There is a building sit-in/takeover going on at Sarah Lawrence by a coalition calling itself “the Diaspora Coalition” — an apparent reference to the African diaspora.

As part of the building takeover, the group has issued a 9-page list of demands (pdf.)(source)(full embed at bottom of post) of demands reminiscent of demand lists that were the rage a couple of years ago at places like Oberlin College.

The demand list reportedly was signed by 140 students.

The Sarah Lawrence demand list starts:

… We, the Diaspora Coalition, are a group of students who can speak to the injustices imposed on people of color by this institution on a daily basis. The Diaspora Coalition was established this fall in order to address the pain of marginalized students as well as to advise the administration on how to best address this pain. Each of us has seen this administration repeatedly diminish the hard work of student activists who merely want a quality education and the personalized curriculum that SLC promises. We extend solidarity to all people of color in the Sarah Lawrence Community, including international students, graduate students, faculty, and staff….

On March 11, 2019, the Diaspora Coalition, along with our allied peers, will occupy Westlands, make calls to the board, and present demands that describe not only our ideal vision for the school but also what we see as the only acceptable terms by which Sarah Lawrence can remain for the students and against hate. If the College does not accept these demands, it will no longer be hailed as a progressive institution but instead remembered for its inability to truly embody its self-proclaimed progressive ideology and support all students against an international rising tide of white supremacy and fascism. Sarah Lawrence was not founded on racial or economic equality and has not implemented sufficient strategies to dismantle systematic oppression to be sustainable or safe for marginalized people in an increasingly dangerous political climate. Low-income students should not have to question if they belong at this institution. We have worked tirelessly to make our voices heard and demands met because we believe in a Sarah Lawrence that can be for the people, by the people.

The demand list then goes through a laundry list of gripes and demands. Including, a laundry list:

“All campus laundry rooms are to supply laundry detergent and softener on a consistent basis for all students, faculty and staff.”

Among the other self-parody demands are:

“The College will designate housing with a minimum capacity for thirty students of color that is not contingent on the students expending any work or labor for the college. This housing option will be permanent and increase in space and size based on interest.”

“In addition to the expansion of the food pantry, we demand the College implement a 24/7 space in the Barbara Walters Center focused on providing food and necessities including pads, tampons, and detergent. Students should be able to obtain these items using with their meal plan or meal money.”

“We demand a mandatory first-year orientation session about intellectual elitism and classism.”

“We demand the College provide free storage to international students as part of the College’s commitment to student welfare.”

Then the Diaspora Coalition turned its attention to faculty, demanding hiring based on race (emphasis in original):

Diasporic Studies

  1. Students of color should not be forced to resort to racist white professors in order to have access to their own history. It is crucial that the College offer courses taught about people of color by people of color so that students may engage in and produce meaningful work that represents them authentically.
  2. We demand there be new tenured faculty of color – at least two in African diasporic studies, one in Asian-American studies, one in Latinx diasporic studies, and one in indigenous/native peoples studies.
  3. We demand there be at least three more courses offered in African diasporic studies taught by Black professors.
  4. We demand that the College offer classes that embody intersectionality, as defined by Kimberlé Williams Crenshaw, and address the racial diversity of the LGBTQ+ community instead of centering whiteness.
  5. The aforementioned classes must be taught by professors who are a part of the culture they are teaching about.

The group also demanded Sarah Lawrence “Reject Funding or Involvement from the Charles Koch Foundation and Koch-Affiliated Organizations” and then turned to Prof. Abrams (emphasis in original):

Professor Samuel Abrams and Defending Progressive Education

  1. On October 16, 2018, politics professor Samuel Abrams published an op-ed entitled “Think Professors Are Liberal? Try School Administrators” in The New York Times. The article revealed the anti-Blackness, anti-LGBTQ+, and anti-woman bigotry of Abrams. The article specifically targeted programs such as the Our Liberation Summit, which Abrams did not attend, facilitated by the Office of Diversity and Campus Engagement. The Sarah Lawrence community deserves an administration that strives for an inclusive education that reflects the diversity of our community. Abrams’ derision of the Black Lives Matter, queer liberation, and women’s rights movements displays not only ignorance but outright hostility towards the essential efforts to dismantle white supremacy and other systems of oppression. This threatens the safety and wellbeing of marginalized people within the Sarah Lawrence community by demonstrating that our lives and identities are viewed as “opinions” that we can have a difference in dialogue about, as if we haven’t been forced to debate our very existences for our entire lives. We demand that Samuel Abrams’ position at the College be put up to tenure review to a panel of the Diaspora Coalition and at least three faculty members of color. In addition, the College must issue a statement condemning the harm that Abrams has caused to the college community, specifically queer, Black, and female students, whilst apologizing for its refusal to protect marginalized students wounded by his op-ed and the ignorant dialogue that followed. Abrams must issue a public apology to the broader SLC community and cease to target Black people, queer people, and women.

This just another attack on Prof. Abrams academic freedom. Peter Bonilla, Vice President of Programs for the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education tweeted:

1. “Tenure review” my foot. These Sarah Lawrence students want a professor to lose tenure for uncontroversial research on academic admins’ liberal leanings.

2. NB: They’re arguing that students should be the arbiters of tenure on the basis of viewpoint.

(added) In an email to me, Bonilla of the FIRE added:

“If Sarah Lawrence actually heeded the demands on his tenure “review,” or that Abrams be forced to make a public apology for his views, it would be hugely problematic from an academic freedom and due process standpoint. Tenure exists precisely to protect faculty from being targeted for their political beliefs, and its roots in American higher education are deeply intertwined with the persecution and scapegoating of progressive academics. I’d hope the Sarah Lawrence administration doesn’t need to be reminded of this, but we will be watching just in case.”

Emails to Professor Abrams and Sarah Lawrence President Cristle Collins Judd seeking comment have not been returned.

[Featured Image: SLC Phoenix video screenshot]


Sarah Lawrence College #SLC50 Diaspora Coalition Demands by Legal Insurrection on Scribd


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Hold the door open for them to leave. That’s all.

    Virginia42 in reply to Sally MJ. | March 12, 2019 at 10:58 am

    That’s what should be done. But it won’t. Most schools are coddling these imbeciles.

      floridaman in reply to Virginia42. | March 12, 2019 at 12:05 pm

      Imbeciles = customers

        notamemberofanyorganizedpolicital in reply to floridaman. | March 12, 2019 at 3:49 pm

        Stick a fork in Sarah Lawrence College.

        Sarah Lawrence College is done!

        Once the BAD PR gets out on Sarah Lawrence College, that Democrat Party college can bend over, take their Democrat Party head out of their …. and kiss themselves good-bye!!!!!!!!!!!

        notamemberofanyorganizedpolicital in reply to floridaman. | March 12, 2019 at 10:35 pm

        Must SEE.

        Rick Singer pleads guilty to running college admissions scheme

        MajorWood in reply to floridaman. | March 13, 2019 at 12:37 pm

        So I got to thinking about this last night. Who are the customers? The students, or the parents who are paying for it? The colleges are in a bad position now with declining enrollment. They have to compete for students to stay afloat, which means that they have to attract students. So exactly what are they selling to compete with other schools? Most of us here will likely agree that at the age of 17/18 that we were not yet making the best decisions. How much of our college preferences were based on drinking, opportunities for sex, and proximity to the beach. Or the biggie, how could we piss off our parents? I went all-in and only applied to Oberlin, so I left them with the choice of paying for it or being embarrassed that their golden child wasn’t attending college that Fall. But in addition to the students, the colleges need to sell themselves to those who are also footing the bill. As a local, I knew that Oberlin was still dealing with the reputation it had garnered during the anti-war era. And that was a reputation that was earned by the action of a small group of students, much like how a small groups of Reed students has poisoned that schools reputation locally for at least the next decade. I continue to wonder why the administrators of the schools are unwilling to deal with a small group of likely non-contributing students. Hasn’t history taught them that a failure to deal with it is much more costly than the possibility of a couple of wannabe rabble-rousers deciding to go somewhere else more edgy?

        So when I look at these protests, I see a bunch of students who are likely paying for little or none of their education. They are making these demands simply because at this point in their life, they have not had to show up with anything at the table. “We got a bunch of stuff for free; hey, let’s ask for more.” In contrast, say, if the news had shown my face at a Gibsons protest or similar, I am pretty sure that a check for Winter Term wouldn’t have been put in the mail. My parents were paying for college, not a crusade. And I wonder if this sentiment also applies to alumni who are watching the news. Are there a bunch of Sarah Lawrence alums who are now rethinking their plans to donate? Oberlin has been dead silent about the Gibsons case with the alumni, which is to be expected with any pending litigation. But they were also pretty quiet about it in the year long period between the incidents and the filing of the suit. There is a fine line between appearing “edgy” and in going a bit too far. I don’t think the students or others involved in these situations recognize where that line is, perhaps because no one ever used the other N-word, “no,” when they were growing up. It would not surprise me at all if the Sarah Lawrence students actually end up with less than they had before submitting their list of demands. It wouldn’t be the first time that a great idea backfires. On a plus note, they can at least learn the basics of mutual assured destruction without the need to power up the real nukes.

    5under3 in reply to Sally MJ. | March 12, 2019 at 11:00 am


Many years ago I stopped giving to Bowdoin College. When I was a student, the legend was that the faculty were more liberal than the students. After the college banned fraternities and sororities because they were elitist/sexist, the elitist administration continued on its merry way so I stopped supporting the college. Sarah Lawrence graduates need to do the same. While my protest has not changed Bowdoin’s progressive bent, schools need to understand that unconditional love is not part of the equation.

    casualobserver in reply to nhchemist. | March 12, 2019 at 8:36 am

    If only more people in the donor class would follow your lead. However, between donors, parents, students, state and federal “gift givers”, few if any administrators ever feel the slightest bit of discomfort for the tyranny. Would you change if your endowments remained untouched if not grew and your applications continued to pour in?

Dyke school.

These are some seriously racist students. Trump is correct about removing tax dollars from colleges that condone this.

    MattMusson in reply to Mudboy. | March 12, 2019 at 8:41 am

    Maoist BS.

    Next they will ask for the Prof to be sent off to a re-education camp.

      notamemberofanyorganizedpolicital in reply to MattMusson. | March 12, 2019 at 3:52 pm

      Don’t you mean a “concentration camp” so the professor can learn to “concentrate?

      “Work Makes Free!”

Their demands are … mundane. Laundry detergent? Free pads on the meal plan? Oh, and fire the guy who demands that they think!

These students are callow, cowardly and dense.

I wonder what Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain would think of his college now? Would his whiteness and privilege be a big negative even though he killed slave holding Confederates and probably saved the nation at Gettysburg. He was willing to die to set men free. Was it worth it in retrospect?

The correct course won’t be taken. …. namely tell the students to shut up and study… or leave.

Are these children being forced to attend this school?

Like Hampshire College, Sarah Lawrence (originally a girls’ finishing school) has always been on the forefront of trendy leftist politics. These schools that prize political conformity over independent thought are all getting into financial problems because students don’t want to spend $60K per year to be brainwashed.

It’s no surprise that Hampshire, Oberlin, Evergreen State, and soon Sarah Lawrence are having trouble filling their classes. I expect Sara Lawrence to start cutting back on programs in a year or two, and possibly to go under within five years.

They want to be awarded Sarah Lawrence degrees for their SJW activism:

“Each of us has seen this administration repeatedly diminish the hard work of student activists who merely want a quality education and the personalized curriculum that SLC promises.”

I like that idea. Just print on the special SJW degree: “Under no circumstances should any sane person hire the the recipient of this degree. Don’t worry, most of them are so illiterate they won’t know about this warning. Just give an insincere apology and thank your lucky stars for the escape.”

And this is the way you handle that.

Is anyone else seeing the irony of these students attending a college in order to erase their ignorance by getting an education telling the college how they should be educated and who is qualified to do the educating? It is akin to a student driving teacher being told how he should be driving the car by the students and the arrogance behind this attitude is simply staggering while their ignorance is overwhelming. If they are offended by the school then they should simply go elsewhere.
The real kicker is that years from now these acts of activism will be remembered as foolish while the teaching from the professors will have a profound and positive act on these student’s lives. Looking back, those professors who were hired because of minority or other issues instead of academics are going to be those who had the least effect and impact on these students professional lives and careers (unless they, of course, become activists themselves in which case these professors become a poor role model yielding nothing useful other than perpetual outrage).

    ss396 in reply to Cleetus. | March 12, 2019 at 11:12 am

    Back in the ’70s this was all going on under the rubic of “relevance”, basically demanding that the Universities make their courses more ‘relevant’ to the students. This led to a number of institutions allowing the students to define the curriculum, establish (or eliminate) testing standards, expansion of the Pass-No Pass system instead of letter grades, etc. And the dumbing-down of the Universities accelerated.

    Those students are today’s professors and administrators. It’s a cycle: the most ‘woke’ agitators of today will become tomorrow’s professors and administrators, and the rest of their hangars student body will just be collateral damage.

    notamemberofanyorganizedpolicital in reply to Cleetus. | March 12, 2019 at 3:54 pm

    It’s also akin to these students doing major brain surgery on themselves in the Sarah Lawrence College pig lot.

Simply not donating isn’t enough. It’s time to take the next step and start fighting back en masse.

Very good article out today from The Federalist on precisely this kind of issue. Take notes.

    notamemberofanyorganizedpolicital in reply to wrw52. | March 12, 2019 at 3:55 pm


    Sue for refunds of past donations and past government funds.

The members of the Diaspora Coalition demand laundry detergent and fabric softener but not bleach. No whiter whites allowed.

When universities let students run the show, there will be no need for professors and soon no need for administrators!
Those chose to go there, now they can choose to stay and study or leave.

American Human | March 12, 2019 at 7:51 am

The Dean should very politely gather the names of all the students occupying the building, smile, tell them this is so the Dean can know who is part of this diaspora group and then send them all letters telling them that they are no longer students at this college.

    Don’t forget that there will be no refund of tuition since it is past that point in the semester, and that their rooms in the dorms will be immediately vacated since they are no longer students.

I believe Professor J. is a graduate of Hamilton College (as is my daughter) and may know more about the resolution of similar BS student “demands” there a year or two ago.

Did they simply blow away in the springtime breezes? Was there an oh-so-serious campus-wide study committee and then no action?

Might the administrators have grown themselves some spine and tell the students “That’s all very nice and you know we care deeply about your problems … but now it’s time for everyone to get the hell back to work.”?…free. until the money runs out and tuiotion goes up or cost cutting sends staff packing.

“The College will designate housing with a minimum capacity for thirty students of color …”

I understand that colleges have gotten away with black-themed dorms and such, but, surely it would be unlawful to declare a hard color line for access to housing?

Sarah Lawrence has always been an academic joke–plus a safe harbor for Stalinists and fellow-travelers in the Cold War era

If they really believe they’re part of a diaspora, the solution is repatriation.

(And note that they’re once more abusing words from Jewish history, so as to garner sympathy. The “Latinx diaspora” is, for one, entirely voluntary. No one dragged them into the US. But, if they consider being here a burden, we should facilitate their return.)

There is only one appropriate response to this outrageous behavior by students:

“F— off!”

And expel them if they continue this outrageous ‘protest.’

Even the teaching of ‘social justice’ has to have limits. I remember when a waste basket was nominated to be the chairman of the SDS. The New Left as a force among students disappeared within a year.

Public Citizen | March 12, 2019 at 3:30 pm

Bunch of entitled crybabies.
What should happen is that they be suspended for the remainder of the term, without any refund of tuition or other fees, and issued failing grades for the classes they are currently enrolled in.
“Give a mouse a cookie and he’s gonna want a glass of milk”.
Administrations have been caving into temper tantrum throwing children since the ’60s, which is why we are at this current low state of affairs.
Either the administrators develop some backbone or the whole system is going to crash.

Wow, all of 140 students signed on, so basically a lecture hall full of kids think they’re going to run the college. Squash them and their entitlement, please.

margoLacour1115 | March 13, 2019 at 10:31 pm

So now we have the students dictating to the professors. I thought the students were there to learn not dictate.