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Students Are Protesting Racism on College Campuses. What Are Their Demands?

A week ago Monday morning, the University of Missouri system’s president, Timothy M. Wolfe, resigned under pressure from student activists who alleged he hadn’t done enough to deal with racism at the flagship campus, in Columbia. The ouster made waves nationally, and drew attention to movements centered on similar complaints on campuses across the country.

Many existed before the tension at Missouri boiled over, but they’ve all drawn fresh attention in the past week. Here’s a brief look at some of the changes that student-protest movements on more than a dozen campuses are demanding from their administrations:

At the University of Missouri, the group Concerned Student 1950 has demanded that the percentage of black faculty members be increased to 10 percent by the 2017-18 academic year, that the university devise a plan to raise retention of black students, and that Mr. Wolfe issue a handwritten apology, among other things.

At Yale University, protesters’ demands include that the residential community Calhoun College be renamed, that two new residential colleges be named for people of color, and that more support be provided to minority students.

At Purdue University — where the president, Mitchell E. Daniels Jr., recently hailed the institution as a “proud contrast” to Yale and Missouri — students have demanded that Mr. Daniels apologize for not acknowledging a culture of racism, that the university reinstate the position of chief diversity officer, and that a racial-awareness curriculum be created and required of students, faculty members, staff members, administrators, and police officers.

At Ithaca College, protesters’ principal demand is that the New York institution’s president, Thomas R. Rochon, resign.

At Amherst College, students are demanding that the president, Carolyn A. (Biddy) Martin, issue an apology to marginalized individuals who have been victims of “our institutional legacy of white supremacy, colonialism, antiblack racism, anti-Latinx racism, anti-Native American racism, anti-Native/ indigenous racism, anti-Asian racism, anti-Middle Eastern racism, heterosexism, cis-sexism, xenophobia, anti-Semitism, ableism, mental health stigma, and classism,” among other things.

At Guilford College, students have demanded better representation of minority groups among faculty and staff members, that the North Carolina college devise “a plan for the end of exploitation of black-male athletes,” and that the college cancel classes when a student’s life is threatened, among other things.

At Claremont McKenna College, where the dean of students resigned last week under pressure from protesters, students have proposed that multicultural clubs be provided with institutional funding; that a general-education course be established in ethnic, racial, and sexuality theory; and that sensitivity training on Islamophobia be conducted annually on the California campus.

At the Johns Hopkins University, students have demanded that the number of full-time black faculty members be increased, that the Center for Africana Studies be recognized as an academic department, and that students, faculty members, and staff members who accost black students be held accountable.

At Northwestern University, students’ demands include that a “Campus Inclusion and Community” building be erected, that a diversity requirement be set for all majors, and that a resource center aimed at black students be created.

At Georgetown University, students have demanded that plaques be installed on the unmarked graves of slaves on the campus, that an annual program be established covering slavery’s legacy on the campus, and that an endowment be established to recruit minority professors, the value of which should be “equivalent to the Net Present Value of the profit generated from the transaction in which 272 people were sold into bondage.”

At Emory University, students have demanded that black students who have been traumatized be given institutional support, that black students and faculty members be consulted on the administration’s diversity initiatives, and that black faculty members and administrators be paid more.

At Virginia Commonwealth University, students have demanded that the percentage of black faculty members be increased to 10 percent by 2017, that at least one out of three candidates for every faculty post be black, and that a position be created to ensure those demands are met.

At the University of Kansas, students’ demands include that three top student leaders resign, that a new director of the Office of Multicultural Affairs be hired in the next month, and that the university set goals for the recruitment of minority students.

At the University of Alabama at Tuscaloosa, students have demanded that a diversity officer be appointed, that a “diversity space” be created where minority students can feel comfortable, and that the university create a new diversity plan.

At Harvard Law School, students have demanded that the institution’s seal, which is the coat of arms of the family of a slaveholder who endowed the first law professorship at Harvard, be changed.

At Wright State University, students have demanded that the number of black students and faculty members be increased, among other things.

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