The president of Oberlin College has rejected a group of black students’ demands aimed at dealing with racism on the Ohio campus, calling some of the demands “deeply troubling,” according to a message posted Wednesday on the college’s website.
“I will not respond directly to any document that explicitly rejects the notion of collaborative engagement,” the president, Marvin Krislov, wrote in his message. “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.”
Among the students’ demands, according to The Plain Dealer, are that more black faculty members and administrators be hired, that “exclusive black safe spaces” be created, and that certain university employees be fired. (The extensive list of demands can be found here.)
“These are demands and not suggestions,” the document concludes. “If these demands are not taken seriously, immediate action from the Africana community will follow.”
Mr. Krislov’s statement is one of the most pointed issued by a college president in response to the protests that have roiled campuses nationwide over the past few months. In his message, he also called on the college to commit itself “to deep study of how systemic barriers persist at Oberlin despite all the substantial efforts being made” by people on the campus.