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Oberlin College Black Student Union Issues 21 Demands, From Institutional Change to Extra Meals and Parking Spots

Oberlin College Black Student Union Issues 21 Demands, From Institutional Change to Extra Meals and Parking Spots

Some of the Demands seek sweeping institutional change, others are very mundane, such as “adding lunch on weekdays and brunch on weekends at the Afrikan Heritage House,” and “three reserved parking spaces … be assigned to student leaders in the Africana community.”

In 2015, we were the first to report on a 14-page Demand List issued by ABUSUA, Oberlin College’s Black Students Union, including faculty hiring mandates and tenure promotions for black faculty, as well as a demand to “deconstruct imperialism, white supremacy, capitalism, ableism, and a cissexist heteropatriarchy” and to divest from Israel.

The Demand List went viral, and is the most-viewed Scribd document we have posted, with over 172,000 reads.

In light of the death of George Floyd, ABUSUA has just issued a new list of Demands via an Opinion piece in the student-newspaper, The Oberlin Review, ABUSUA Demands Institutional Reform from Administrators, Board of Trustees.

Some of the Demands seek sweeping institutional change, others are very mundane, such as “adding lunch on weekdays and brunch on weekends at the Afrikan Heritage House,” and “three reserved parking spaces … be assigned to student leaders in the Africana community.” As before, ABUSA makes clear: “These are demands, not suggestions.”

Here are the Demands (emphasis added):

…. ABUSUA has published demands in the past, and while efforts were made, we encourage Oberlin to take another look at itself as an institution and make the necessary changes to improve its support of the Black community. This is an opportunity to create a better future for students attending Oberlin College.

We DEMAND transparency. We will be checking in and reviewing the efforts made to ensure these demands are being administered and upheld.

Regarding our Funding:

1. We DEMAND that Oberlin College institutionalize programming that is foundational to the Black cultural experience at Oberlin, many of which are long-standing traditions that positively impact the retention and graduation rates of Black students. We want this funding given directly to Africana Studies and the Afrikan Heritage House in addition to what they already receive. These programs include the Black History Month celebration, which serves as the official BHM celebration for Oberlin College ($5,000), Black Families commencement weekend activities which include the dinner and ceremony ($5,000), and the Africana Welcome during orientation ($1,600).

2. We DEMAND control of the 1835 Fund and that the John Mercer Langston Fund be given to the Africana Studies department. These funds are then to be administered by a committee selected by the Africana Studies department.

3. We DEMAND three students be hired as program assistants for the Afrikan Heritage House. The responsibility to organize all community events has fallen on the A-House Resident Assistants for too long and is beyond their job requirements. New paid positions should be created to fill this need.

4. We DEMAND there be an option to donate to the Afrikan Heritage House and Africana Studies department in all fundraising events, specifically in the All in for Oberlin campaign.

5. We DEMAND there be insurances and job security made for the current United Auto Workers employees, especially the ones that work in the Afrikan Heritage House.

6. We DEMAND $5,000 to renovate the Afrikan Heritage House lounges with new furniture and technology and the house library with books considered fundamental to Africana Studies

a. See attached list of proposed books by the Africana Studies department.

Regarding our Safety:

7. We DEMAND an increase in custodial services in the Afrikan Heritage House. This is a necessary step toward compensating for the increase in foot traffic we have experienced since the closure of Dascomb Dining Hall as well as addressing the new health and safety concerns brought about by COVID-19.

8. We DEMAND an increase in the number of meals served from the Afrikan Heritage House by adding lunch on weekdays and brunch on weekends.

9. We DEMAND that COVID-19 tests be easily accessible to all students with quick results.

10. We DEMAND a zero-tolerance policy on racial insensitivity and mandatory training on cultural diversity for faculty and staff, including union workers.

11. We DEMAND that all students go through a mandatory training session on diversity, power, privilege, and combating anti-Blackness during their orientation.

12. We DEMAND the hiring of a Chief Diversity Officer, held by someone with the proper qualifications and past work experience, to hold faculty and staff accountable and enforce expectations on diversity and inclusion. The search committee for this position should heavily consider the input of Black students and the Africana Studies department.

13. We DEMAND free, full psychological evaluations available to students. The mental and emotional well-being of Black people in the world has been ignored for too long. Black children are alarmingly under-diagnosed for mental illnesses and learning disabilities. Oberlin previously offered students free full psychological evaluations, which we demand be reinstated.

14. We DEMAND that the position of director of the Afrikan Heritage House be made a   permanent tenure track faculty position in Africana Studies.

15. We DEMAND that the dean of students; director of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion; program housing area coordinator; and the director of the Multicultural Resource Center be required to meet with the ABUSUA board on a monthly basis as well as have an ABUSUA board member present in all Division of Student Life meetings to give input on how their decisions are affecting Black students.

16. We DEMAND three reserved parking spaces outside of Lord-Saunders be assigned to student leaders in the Africana community as decided by the director and faculty in residence. Students often run errands and pick up supplies for Africana community events. Dedicated parking spaces should be provided at Lord-Saunders House so we are better able to access our community center.

Regarding Cultural Competency and Enrichment:

17. We DEMAND that all students be required to take a class in the Africana Studies department in order to fulfill their Cultural Diversity requirement. Conservatory students must be required to take a course focusing on Black music or the history of Black music.

18. We DEMAND the Jazz department have a tenure track position for a professor to teach Introduction to African American Music and related courses.

19. We DEMAND mandatory specialized training for the Athletics Department on anti-Blackness and its history in sports.

20. We DEMAND the Conservatory include works by Black composers in all large ensemble concert programs.

21. We DEMAND that the Black building adjacent to Lord-Saunders House be considered an extension of the Afrikan Heritage House. This building is to be repurposed so that it can be used by the Africana Studies department as an academic space as well as a place Black student organizations can meet uninterrupted and put on programming.

These are demands, not suggestions. As previously stated, ABUSUA and the Africana community will be checking in to make sure they are properly addressed.

The more specific demands from years ago about hiring and firing professors are gone. It will be interesting to see how the Oberlin College administration reacts.


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UnCivilServant | June 15, 2020 at 9:37 am

At this point, Oberlin should just close its doors, pay the Gibsons, and disappear into the dustbin of history.

Maybe they need an on-campus bakery to shoplift from so they don’t have to go to Gibsons’.
And if they don’t get their demands, will they burn and loot?

    MarkSmith in reply to tz. | June 15, 2020 at 9:56 am

    They could get major sponsors like Target and Wendy’s. They could specialize in where to grab the best stuff. How to break the lock on the electronic cabinet and how to set fire to Wendy’s in 5 minutes or less.

    Engineering 301 – Glass Breaking tool design

    Business 423 – How to Fence stolen goods and max. profits.

    Sarcasm is probably lost here. Do we have to be careful that we don’t create more problems for Professor Jacobson?

    BTW: LI and Professor Jacobson just made Front Page on Breitbart. Prepare for the trolls to cancel us out.

    Kevin in reply to tz. | June 15, 2020 at 7:07 pm

    Don’t you say looter, you racist/sexist/cisgender/anti-LGBTQXYZ!!! That drips of racism! Like Aunt Jemima Syrup! ROFLMFAO

When I see the sign in the picture “Black Lives Matter” it should also say “Stop Black Abortion”

    MarkSmith in reply to MarkSmith. | June 15, 2020 at 11:40 am

    Was looking up Stop Black Abortions. It is quite amazing.

    It is obvious that it is not about women health, it is about killing blacks.

    I never knew this:

    “Several years ago, when 17,000 aborted babies were found in a dumpster outside a pathology laboratory in Los, Angeles, California, some 12-15,000 were observed to be black.”
    –Erma Clardy Craven (deceased)
    Social Worker and Civil Rights Leader

    I guess black lives really do not matter. BLM should be painted on the streets in front of Planned Parenthood.

    We are in the twilight zone.

      Kevin in reply to MarkSmith. | June 15, 2020 at 7:34 pm

      These people are part of a well funded initiative led by anti-American agents provocateur. My opinion is Soros’ “Open Society” groups are using BLM as a front group to undermine our way of life by creating these riots when the opportunity arises. Didn’t used to be a conspiracy theorist, but when these events are this well organized and funded, you have to wonder. The “autonomous zones” that these fascist bastards are setting up are just test zones for what they plan to do in Oregon, Cali, and Washington State. I am truly scared that these pukes are going to stir up enough shit to get Dementia Joe elected. And if that happens, we are through. These BLM/”antifa” clowns must be exposed for what they are, even with the MSM running blocker for them. We can only hope they will screw up and kill or maim someone badly enough to turn their free publicity machine off. That is the only way we can stop this.

        notamemberofanyorganizedpolicital in reply to Kevin. | June 15, 2020 at 11:26 pm

        Ron Bassilian (R)??

        I should point out a protest this large is highly organized. They coordinated with government officials who held the rest of us on lockdown.

    MarkSmith in reply to MarkSmith. | June 15, 2020 at 11:56 am

    From liberal friendly site”

    Between 1525 and 1866, in the entire history of the slave trade to the New World, according to the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade Database, 12.5 million Africans were shipped to the New World. 10.7 million survived the dreaded Middle Passage, disembarking in North America, the Caribbean and South America.

    And how many of these 10.7 million Africans were shipped directly to North America? Only about 388,000. That’s right: a tiny percentage.

    But we never really learn all the history and it will be deleted soon.

    By the mid 1600s, the Irish were the main slaves sold to Antigua and Montserrat. At that time, 70% of the total population of Montserrat were Irish slaves.

    Ireland quickly became the biggest source of human livestock for English merchants. The majority of the early slaves to the New World were actually white.

We Demand that the University Pay the Gibson’s the full amount of money awarded by a jury.

The Friendly Grizzly | June 15, 2020 at 9:53 am

“Hwre are copies of your transcripts. Get out. Now.”

signed Dean T F Grizzly

“We want free stuff”. Brilliant.

    The Friendly Grizzly in reply to UJ. | June 15, 2020 at 9:58 am

    Sorry for the downtick. Free stuff. Gibs me dat! Enough already.

Halcyon Daze | June 15, 2020 at 10:00 am

Leftists always make a mockery of themselves.

“We DEMAND that the Black building adjacent to Lord-Saunders House be considered an extension of the Afrikan Heritage House.”

Whose building is that now?

    The Friendly Grizzly in reply to marybeth. | June 15, 2020 at 12:39 pm

    I don’t know. Will you tell me? I ask not to be an ass; I really don’t know who owns it. Thank you.

In May 2013 Time Cover Story:

Millennial’s: The Me Me Me Generation

I am about to do what old people have done throughout history: call those younger than me lazy, entitled, selfish and shallow. But I have studies! I have statistics!


Here’s the cold, hard data: The incidence of narcissistic personality disorder is nearly three times as high for people in their 20s as for the generation that’s now 65 or older, according to the National Institutes of Health; 58% more college students scored higher on a narcissism scale in 2009 than in 1982.

We are beyond this now, it is the ME ME ME ME ME ME ME ME ME ME Narcissistic Generation. Lets call them Generation N for Narcissistic.

This won’t make any difference when Oberlin goes bankrupt

I wonder if the college will be burned down when they jack up tuition costs?

SU raised its tuition after shutting down for Covid, as I am sure most institutes of higher learning did. I look forward to the next waves of protests from the idiot kids who chose to go to these colleges, knowing full well what they were and what they offered. But hey, mom and dad get to pay the extra money for brunch and lunch, at a higher cost than if the kiddies just kept on eating pizza or fast food.

This must be AOC economics.

    college is now just another welfare program. “Be a student, live 4-12 years on student loans, grants etc, get democrats to then cancel student debt”

Oberlin was a hotbed of abolitionism before the Civil War. No good deed goes unpunished.
As for the Afrikan Heritage House, they have an entire city near by: Cleveland.

Dantzig93101 | June 15, 2020 at 10:31 am

Anything that speeds the bankruptcy and dissolution of Oberlin is A-OK with me.

Raze the site and sow the ground with salt.

Send the faculty and students to vocational school where they can “learn to code, b*tches!”

The Communists, globalists, and their useful idiots have brought us to this pass. They should certainly share in the fun.

nordic_prince | June 15, 2020 at 10:48 am

How about a demand for mandatory training sessions on combatting anti-Whiteness??

What’s good for the goose….

Interesting that they think they can have various funds turned over to them, as if the wishes of the donors, and any restrictions placed on those funds are immaterial.

“We DEMAND free, full psychological evaluations available to students.”

So that we can find out who is engaging in wrongthink and immediately send them to re-education camps.

    nomadic100 in reply to irv. | June 15, 2020 at 4:19 pm

    I concur with this “demand.” It is obvious from the list of “demands” that these people are in desperate need of such services.

      bhwms in reply to nomadic100. | June 16, 2020 at 10:41 am

      Yes, identify the psychopaths and sociopaths. Here’s a start:

      DSM-5 says that a person with Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) possesses at least five of the following nine criteria, typically without possessing the commensurate personal qualities or accomplishments for which they demand respect and status:

      Grandiosity with expectations of superior treatment from other people (check)
      Continually demeaning, bullying and belittling others (check)
      Exploiting others to achieve personal gain (check)
      Lack of empathy for the negative impact they have on the feelings, wishes, and needs of other people (check)
      Fixation on fantasies of power, success, intelligence, attractiveness, etc. (check)
      Self-perception of being unique, superior, and associated with high-status people and institutions (check)
      Need for continual admiration from others
      Sense of entitlement to special treatment and to obedience from others (check)
      Intense envy of others, and the belief that others are equally envious of them

      I count 7 of 9 based on the list of “demands.”

Edited for brevity:

We DEMAND to be separate.

We DEMAND to be unequal.

Are they aware of how racist their demands are? Not likely.

They want special treatment, separate facilities, and more free meals for black students. I’m amazed at how narcissistic the current college students are, and their lack of self-awareness and hypocrisy.

    TX-rifraph in reply to OldProf2. | June 15, 2020 at 1:09 pm

    “…special treatment, separate facilities, and more free meals…”

    Didn’t slaves have all of that?

    This is Comrade 101 training where the Master (the Party) provides all so I can remain a child.

has just issued a new list of Demands
Also called extortion. And it should be treated as such.

    Now, now. I don’t see any ‘or else’ in there, so it’s not really extortion. And they can’t push Oberlin too hard, or the administrators will just say “Here’s the keys. Good luck and good bye.”

      nomadic100 in reply to georgfelis. | June 15, 2020 at 4:22 pm

      The “or else” is implied at the end where the black students warn the administration that they will be watching to see how and to what extent their demands are implemented.

        OwenKellogg-Engineer in reply to nomadic100. | June 15, 2020 at 5:56 pm

        If there was an adult in the room, the proper response to “We demand….” is “Or what?”. If they damage school property, then they get expelled and arrested.

        But that is if there is an adult on the other end of this tantrum, and in this case (and many other cases like it around the country) there is not…..

          Everyone should read the 2015 list of non-negotiable demands provided at the beginning of the article. They were appalling and at the time there was an adult in the room, President Martin Krislov, who more or less said “get lost”. However, I think he decided that he had had enough of Oberlin and within a year or so became President of Pace University. It will be interesting to see what Black President Ambar does.

Nothing about cleaning all that stuff by “white” authors from the libraries?

healthguyfsu | June 15, 2020 at 12:51 pm

Bet the collective tuition payments from this group are well below the average.

It’s all about getting more while contributing less.

Some, select, Black Lives Matter. #Diversity

stevewhitemd | June 15, 2020 at 1:24 pm

Demand #22 was a pony…

Non-negotiable demands were an invention of the 60s. Until then the genre hadn’t existed.

As to parking spots, since when were Oberlin students allowed to have cars on campus.

Well, I can certainly get behind the parking and the additional meals, especially brunch, the most vital meal of the week, but there is a “Jazz department” (sic)? Good lord, man, I can’t support that.

The Book of Demandments.

Well, find the partner institution now for the teach-out and contact North Central. Oberlin cannot survive agreeing to those demands plus the pending Gibson appeal. Starting the transition now so that the important parts of the campus can be turned over to the Western Reserve Historical Society is more than fair.

kimberwarrior45 | June 15, 2020 at 6:44 pm

#13 just reading these shows no need for any more evaluation.They are nucking futs and live in an imaginary world.

Why not? Just more free stuff, paid for by the oppressive white man. Then, get serious and start paying reparations, because.

“Afrikan”…..hum….sounds rather Boer-ish to me. Or is this an illusion to Afrika Corps?

Demand much…learn little.

The Real Truth | June 16, 2020 at 9:39 am

These student’s are RACIST, spoiled, obnoxious, and selfish ! I hope that they receive NONE of what they are “DEMANDING” ! In THIS World, we can ASK nicely for things, and we MAY receive some of them, but “DEMANDING” is OFF the chart obnoxious, and selfish !

The_Next_Michael_Jordan | June 16, 2020 at 10:13 am

Ah, Yes. There is nothing that signals commitment to racial equality than brunch and a reserved parking spot. With the Elites, its never really about social justice. Yes, that is the stated reason. But, really, it is always gaining more perks and privilege for those in charge. Always.

    The demanded changes would not be sought if those demanding them found out they would not be running this, only subject to them. Then the REAL protests would begin, for their civil and constitutional rights.

Having raised a child, I have been through this situation, but not for a long time as my son is 17, and he stopped acting this way around 2 or 3.

As an adult, I would look at the list, and then put it on a shelf somewhere while the children run through their tantrum. It will of course be shredded in time, but for now keep it intact so it can be pulled out when using the “we are still working on it” delay tactic. I see this group of students as being like a kid who has just seen another kid get an ice cream cone, and somewhere in their mind they have come to the conclusion that they deserve an ice cream cone as well. The strategy that they employed though, is to demand a whole bunch of other things as well, in the hope that out of sheer frustration, someone will buy them an ice cream cone just to make them go away.

Like all socialist/Marxist (non)thinkers, they believe that the stuff they are asking for comes from some infinite self-renewing resource. But it doesn’t. Not only are they not aware that resources are limited, but they are also decreasing and that their actions can also make them decrease faster. As a straight white christian conservative male, I see Oberlin as a place that is less desirable to attend. It wasn’t even offered as a suggestion for my son’s list of schools. What these students are failing to realize is that the loss of this class of student also means the loss of people who “pay retail” for college. They go elsewhere to places that provide more value for the money that they are paying. Oberlins strategy of attracting “zero-ride” students seems to follow the same logic as “the beatings will continue until morale improves.” In a way, they are like a city hell bent on driving out the manufacturing elements (cough, Portland, cough) to make it a green socialist paradise without ever considering that it is the manufacturing that provides the jobs and income to support the community. And not only are these actions going to affect the willingness of people to attend who are paying full tuition, but alumni also see this crap and decide to donate elsewhere. If you send the $100 directly to Gibsons, at least you get some cookies in return.

My privilege from growing up in “white” culture was being taught two rules that these kids seemed to have missed out on. The first was, “you buy the ticket, you take the ride.” Don’t expect to be bailed out of a jackpot at your convenience. The second was “don’t crap where you eat.” Whoever taught them that they were entitled to this list of demands did them a severe disservice by setting up a lifetime of disappointment and anger. Notice how weakly the “or else” part was worded. This entire list came from a position of absolutely zero strength. If this is a hostage situation, exactly who or what are the hostages. The only parallel situation that comes to mind is when Sheriff Bart takes himself hostage in “Blazing Saddles.” In fact, that is a very accurate comparison the more I think about it. The students are banking on the stupidity and/or cowardice of the administration/faculty to give in lest anyone from the outside think badly of them. Heads up kids, I am fine with absolutely none of your demands being met. It might have been a good idea to run a focus group before publishing the list. ABUSA must consist of a bubble within a bubble. So as Dr Phil might put it, “go back to blaming whitey for all of your problems and let us know how that works out for you.”

As for the timing of this list, I imagine that the students want to get in on some of the looting and this is their only available method. I only glanced at the list. Were the typical high-demand items any part of it? And being Oberlin, I also need to wonder if this list wasn’t encouraged by the administration, who must really be scraping the bottom of the barrel looking for distractions from the Gibsons fiasco. I just did a survey of the campus on google satellite and couldn’t come up with any suitable structures which could be conveniently razed by fire as part of the grand plan. Given how the Dems in general are setting fire to major cities to distract from their lack of a candidate or viable political platform, you’d think that the Oberlin wing of the party would step up.

“These are demands not suggestions.” That’s the attitude of a 4 year old.

I will donate $100 for 10 parking places for the African Union members… in AFRICA. screw you and ride the bus like the rest of us have to.