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SUNY Plattsburgh caves to demands — will fly BLM, gay pride flags to ‘improve campus climate’

It looks like the administration at SUNY Plattsburgh has bowed to the demands of student protesters who, over the last couple of months, got to the point where they ended up calling for the resignations of key campus officials.

One of those officials, Plattsburgh President John Ettling who told by demonstrators “You don’t need this job, bro,” recently detailed ten “immediate and long-term initiatives” to improve the climate on campus, according to Cardinal Points.

Some of the plans include increasing police presence on campus, the creation of a mandatory diversity course, organization of a social justice task force, and the “the hoisting of a Black Lives Matter flag and LGBT pride flag in the Angell College Center.”

Wait, more police? Isn’t that supposed to be … racist or something?

From the story:

A campus-wide email from Ettling’s office announced Tuesday that the flags would be on display in the ACC stairway by the end of the week.

Ettling announced Wednesday also via email that community organizer and PSUC alumna Maxine Perry, ‘01, and director of the college’s Institute for Ethics in Public Life Jonathan Slater had been named co-chairs of the task force.

“The task force is charged with helping the president and college leadership better understand matters of social justice, ensuring all voices are heard,” the email said.

The group is scheduled to send its initial report to Ettling no later than Aug. 1

One of the key initiatives demanded by students was a comprehensive review of the Student Code of Conduct. Hate crimes and offensive language are covered briefly under disorderly conduct in section seven of the current iteration, but the president wants the code to tighten rules and consequences. Among the changes desired, Ettling said, is to possibly include sanctions against students who post hateful and racist sentiments. Ettling hopes to present the proposed changes to the College Council at their public meeting April 16.

Campus community members would also like to see a more diverse faculty. At a range of forums held last month, several minority students voiced concerns that none or little of their teachers looked like them.

“We could redouble our efforts to bring more faculty members here who look like our students,” Ettling said.
Over a third of undergraduates as of fall 2017 were people of color or non-U.S. residents.

“We don’t have enough; it’s been a perennial problem for us,” the president said.

Other Plattsburgh “climate” efforts include the establishment of a “bias response-and-referral process,” compulsory “face-to-face diversity and inclusion training for all faculty and staff,” and creation of a multicultural “unity space” at the Angell Center.

MORE: Students demand Plattsburgh resignations after racist Snapchat incident

MORE: Plattsburgh newspaper apologizes for “stereotypical” pic of black student

IMAGE: Artit Fongfung/Shutterstock

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