On Thursday, approximately 300 students from Penn, Drexel, Temple and other Philadelphia area schools protested “in solidarity” with the students at the University of Missouri.
“Protesters marched from their perch in front of a statue of Benjamin Franklin at the heart of Penn’s campus to an intersection near 30th Street Station, blocking streets and weaving among cars as they walked. Students sat cross-legged across the road by the train station as speakers from the crowd came forward and voiced their anger, outrage, and sadness,” the Philadelphia Inquirer reports.
Some of the group’s demands include wanting city colleges to “create and enforce a comprehensive and mandatory racial awareness curriculum,” more courses on “community organization” and “social justice,” and zero tolerance policies for Greek organization acts of “bigotry.”
“Create,” “enforce,” and “mandatory.” Oh so ironically, many were chanting “This is what democracy looks like!”
The University of Pennsylvania was targeted for specific demands, including increasing the number of black faculty to ten percent, and the establishment of a “social justice center that ‘provides resources for organizing students.'”
Across the country at the University of California-Irvine, around 150 protesters joined the Mizzou cause, demanding free tuition, forgiveness of all student debt, and a $15 per hour minimum wage for campus workers.
The Orange County Register reports that UCI is also “getting ready to finalize details on some demands made last January by the Black Student Union” which include … a separate dorm for incoming black students due to “a climate of anti-blackness” at the school.
This negative climate includes a “fraternity performing in ‘blackface’ in 2013, another fraternity giving out a ‘once you go black, you never go back’ award,” and UCI’s dining halls serving fried chicken and waffles “in honor of a Martin Luther King Jr. symposium.”
Other demands include the hiring of more black counselors and psychologists, and granting the African American Studies program “full departmental status.”
As Gary Fouse, an adjunct at the school (and to whom the hat tip goes for the UCI report), asks, “What’s next? Separate drinking fountains for black students?”
Fouse adds, “I would ask why if there is a climate of anti-blackness at UCI, would any black student choose to study there? How could it be that until recently, the chancellor at UCI was Michael Drake, himself African-American? The vice chancellor for student affairs is also African-American.”