UC Santa Cruz Agrees to Demands of Afrikan Black Student Alliance After They Occupy Kerr Hall for 3 Days

Students occupy Kerr Hall at UC Santa Cruz Wednesday to bring attention to social justice and racial bias issues on campus. (Shmuel Thaler — Santa Cruz Sentinel)

UC Santa Cruz has agreed to the demands of the Afrikan Black Student Alliance after a three-day occupation of Kerr Hall, the primary administration building on campus. 

To loud cheers, UCSC director of news and media relations Scott Hernandez-Jason stood before hundreds of students at Kerr Hall around 5:30 p.m. Thursday and announced that the university was committed to better serving its African, black and Caribbean-identified students.

To illustrate this, UCSC Chancellor George Blumenthal agreed to the alliance’s demands and made the following commitments:

. Extending a housing guarantee of four years to all students from underrepresented communities who applied to and live in the Rosa Parks African American Theme House.

. Converting the first-floor lounge of the Rosa Parks House from housing back to a community lounge space.

. Painting the exterior of the Rosa Parks House in red, gold and green.

. Requiring “educational diversity” orientation for all incoming freshmen and transfer students.

Two hours earlier, an agreement that would have ended the three-day occupation did not seem likely. About 3:30 p.m., members of the alliance leadership announced through a bullhorn that Blumenthal had declined to meet at Kerr Hall, citing concerns for his safety.

Instead, Blumenthal sent members of his administration, including campus diversity officer Linda Scholz, to speak with the students at the entrance of Kerr Hall. Surrounded by hundreds of chanting, screaming students, Scholz invited the leadership group to speak with Blumenthal in the nearby Thimann Labs building.

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Source: Mercury News |