Students at a New York college routinely ranked as one of the most liberal in America are accusing administrators of not being progressive enough – unless they accept a long list of demands, including taking teaching duties away from “racist white professors” and providing laundry detergent — and softener — for all.
The wide-ranging declaration that emerged this week at the $54,440-a-year Sarah Lawrence College comes as bands of students have been marching around campus, chanting outside the president’s home and participating in sit-ins over their beliefs the school has “not implemented sufficient strategies to dismantle systematic oppression to be sustainable or safe for marginalized people in an increasingly dangerous political climate.”
“If the College does not accept these demands, it will no longer be hailed as a progressive institution, but instead remembered for its inability to truly embody its self-proclaimed progressive ideology and support all students against an international rising tide of white supremacy and fascism,” reads a press release from the Diaspora Coalition student group.
The group, which describes itself as “students who can speak to the injustices imposed on people of color by this institution on a daily basis”, is demanding that, among other requests:
- “All campus laundry rooms are to supply laundry detergent and softener on a consistent basis for all students, faculty and staff.”
- “Students of color should not be forced to resort to racist white professors in order to have access to their own history. It is crucial that the College offer courses taught about people of color by people of color so that students may engage in and produce meaningful work that represents them authentically.”
- “When dining options are closed on campus, the College must provide free meals for students staying on campus, including vegetarian, gluten-free, vegan, halal, and kosher options.”
- Students from the Diaspora Coalition and “at least three faculty members of color” are allowed to conduct a tenure review surrounding the position of politics professor Samuel Abrams – who they describe as “an anti-queer, misogynist and racist who actively targets queer people, women and people of color.” They also want Abrams to publicly apologize for writing an op-ed for the New York Times last year.
In the piece, Abrams says he surveyed around 900 college administrators and “found that liberal staff members outnumber their conservative counterparts by the astonishing ratio of 12-to-one.” He also says Sarah Lawrence’s Office of Student Affairs “was organizing many overtly progressive events — programs with names like ‘Stay Healthy, Stay Woke,’ ‘Microaggressions’ and ‘Understanding White Privilege’ — without offering any programming that offered a meaningful ideological alternative.”