Protesters demand deans sign list of demands


Staff Report

A class walkout occurred at 11 a.m. today led by student group NoNames for Justice.

Some students gathered inside and in front of Waterman following the walkout. Others formed groups and met with the deans of their individual colleges insisting they sign a list of demands created by NoNames.

The demands outlined in the letter to the deans included mandatory faculty diversity training and increasing the hiring and retention rates of faculty of color.

By signing onto the letter, the deans would agree to create an action plan surrounding these issues by noon March 2.

Students relayed information surrounding their Deans response to protest organizers who announced the updates to students occupying much of the top three floors of Waterman.  

  • William Falls, the dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, signed the list of demands before the walkout when protesters met him this morning at 8 a.m.
  • The dean of the Nursing school, Patricia Prelock, did not sign onto the list of demands.
  • Thomas Vogelmann, dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, also did not sign onto the list of demands and requested to renegotiate the demands.  
  • Scott Thomas, Dean of the College of Education and Social Services declined to sign the demands.
  • Dean of the Rubenstein school, Nancy Matthews, signed the letter at 1:28 p.m.
  • Luis Garcia, dean of the College of Engineering and Mathematical Sciences, did not sign onto the letter.
  • Dean of the Grossman School of Business, Sanjay Sharma, that he did not want to sign the demands, expressed personal support but not mandated training.

Sophomore Harmony Edosomwan, a NoNames leader and president of the Black Student Union, told the crowd that Garcia said that “as a person he would totally sign our letter, but as dean [I] can’t.”

Garcia invited CALS students to an open forum on inclusivity and diversity Tuesday at 5 p.m.

Falls invited CAS students to a similar forum Wednesday at 6:30, hoping it will help students and faculty collaborate on solutions to end division and racism on campus, he stated in a Feb. 26 email.

“For decades students, staff and faculty on college campuses have been champions for positive change. This is one of those moments…I will not miss the opportunity to be a partner in change,” Falls stated.

No Names’ continues to push for President Sullivan to draft a concrete plan and adopt every of No Names’ demands.

“We’re not gonna stop until he has an action plan and every demand is met,” said, Angelica Crespo, co-founder of the Womyn of Color Coalition an a rally organizer.