You seen this drama play out so many times now on so many different campuses that you don’t need to read any further: You know how it’s going to end. Or at least you think you do.
As I noted back in December, student activists at Oberlin College in Ohio presented the administration with a list of demands that ran 14 pages. The list, as I noted then, was one of the most extreme seen at any college in the past two months. Among other things, it demanded the firing of several school employees, creation of segregated black-only safe spaces, a school stipend for protest leaders, and the creation of a bridge program to educate released convicts at the school. The list’s authors are anonymous, but several hundred students signed a Google Doc endorsing it.
Now, over a month later, Oberlin president Marvin Krislov finally reacted. He released a harshly worded statement indicating that he has no intention of even reading the list, adding that the tone of the demands is utterly unacceptable, even if the document raises some valid concerns.
“Some of the challenges outlined in the document resonate with me and many members of our community, including our trustees,” Krislov wrote. “However, some of the solutions it proposes are deeply troubling. I will not respond directly to any document that explicitly rejects the notion of collaborative engagement. Many of its demands contravene principles of shared governance. And it contains personal attacks on a number of faculty and staff members who are dedicated and valued members of this community.”
It remains to be seen what the response, if any, will come from those who created the list. In the original document, they wrote that any refusal would provoke a dramatic response.
“These are demands and not suggestions,” the document warned. “If these demands are not taken seriously, immediate action from the Africana community will follow.” So far, Oberlin has avoided the mass demonstrations and occupations that have rocked schools like Princeton University and Dartmouth College.
This report, by Blake Neff, was cross-posted by arrangement with the Daily Caller News Foundation.