Students present list of demands to President Sullivan


Brandon Arcari, Assistant Breaking News Editor

UVM students led by student diversity organizations presented a list of demands to UVM administration Monday, citing racial injustice on multiple levels at the University.

The list, addressed to President Tom Sullivan and University administration, was posted to Facebook and later presented in person to Gary Derr, vice president for executive operations Monday.

These demands were written by sophomore Harmony Edosomwan, president of the Black Student Union, with input from the BSU and Alianza Latinx. The list explains what the BSU, Alianza and Asian Student Union view as racial injustice at UVM, Edosomwan said.

At 2 p.m. Monday after the public Facebook post, BSU, Alianza and the ASU led a march from the Davis Center flagpoles to the Waterman building entrance.

The marchers chanted slogans such as, “What do we want? Racial justice. When do we want it? Now,” and “Students of color deserve respect. We’re sick of this school’s neglect.”

Edosomwan said the students’ demands and led the group inside Waterman, where they she and other leaders said the demands to Derr.

Then, Edosomwan handed printed copies of the demands to Derr.

“We are out here to march against racial injustice on campus,” Edosomwan said. “We had a great turnout. The fight for justice did not end there—we have a long road ahead of us.”

The demands required varying actions from the University.

The first demand stated that “All UVM administration, faculty, and staff must have mandatory diversity training encompassing race, equity, religion, sexuality, and gender identities.”

The fifth demanded that sophomore “Jake Reichhelm… be expelled for his hate crime.” Reichhelm stole the Black Lives Matter flag from the Davis Center flagpole last year.

See the attachment below for the full list of demands.

“Nothing bad should have to happen for us to be considered people,” said sophomore Amanda Martinez, president of Alianza. “The University needs to show solidarity with students of color. It shouldn’t have to wait for something terrible to happen.”

The original plan for the marchers was to present their list of demands to President Sullivan, who was not in his office at the time of the march, Edosomwan said.

Outside Sullivan’s office, marchers chanted and held signs with the phrase “Hey Tom, take off your mask.”

Other signs read “Same s—, different century,” and “Black Lives Matter.”

UVM’s administration was given a deadline to respond to demands by 9 a.m. Tuesday, or the marchers will return to the building at 10 a.m. in a continued protest, Edosomwan said.

  1. All UVM administration, faculty, and staff must have mandatory diversity training encompassing race, equity, religion, sexuality, and gender identities.
  2. We demand for the hire and retention of black and brown faculty on tenure.
  3. We demand for the renovation of D1 and D2 classes.
  4. We demand that qualified professors teach such courses.
  5. We demand that hate crimes on/off campus be treated as such, named as such, and that perpetrators of these crimes be expelled.
  6. We demand that fraternities and sororities have a new mandatory racial diversity/inclusion/climate/equity training requirement for all incoming and standing members.
  7. We demand that Jake Reichhelm is to be expelled for his hate crime.
  8. We demand that ALANA clubs and identity centers be put higher in the University’s funding priorities.
  9. We demand that UVM creates a separate donation fund for ALANA clubs.
  10. We demand that the George Perkins building be renamed.