Dr. Matthew Mariola led discussions on the major on Dec. 1 and 5 in Lowry Student Center (Photo by Saeed Husain).
An estimated 300 students participated in a sit-in outside of administrative offices in Galpin Hall and Lowry Center on Wednesday, Jan. 24. Referred to as a “Call-in” by its organizers due to the fact that a group message was used to instruct some students to leave class at 11:40 a.m. that day, the sit-in lasted from noon until 9:52 p.m.
According to a “List of Demands” published by its leadership, which was composed of officers from the Black Student Association (BSA), k(no)w, the First Generation Students Organization (FGSO), Women of Images and Asia Supporters in Action (ASiA), the Call-in was a response to a perceived lack of attention by administrators to student concerns in several areas, including racial equality, Title IX policy and the treatment of international and low-income students.
Around 1:30 p.m., college officials — including Dean of Students Scott Brown, representatives from Residence Life, the Center for Diversity and Inclusion (CDI), Academic Affairs, Human Resources, Title IX and Security and Protective Services — met with the leaders of the sit-in to begin negotiating the List of Demands. Negotiations continued for most of the day, interrupted only by hour-and-a-half breaks at 4:30 p.m. and 8 p.m., and ended at 9:52 p.m. Due to a broken wrist, President Sarah Bolton was unable to join the negotiations until 3:30 p.m., but stayed until its conclusion.
During the negotiations, administrators agreed to accept the following goals: (1) an additional $20,000 in funding to the CDI; (2) incorporating cultural competency training into first-year orientation and considering additional training for athletics programs and the leaders of student organizations; (3) allowing multicultural groups to apply for guaranteed program houses and considering the creation of other dedicated spaces for these groups; (4) agreeing to a review of the budget allocation process for student organizations; (5) providing access to affordable storage space for international and low-income students; (6) translating important areas of the Wooster.edu website; (7) agreeing to separate the positions of deputy Title IX coordinator and director of student rights and responsibilities; (8) including reports of bias and discrimination onto monthly campus climate reports and conducting climate surveys every two years and (9) clarifying procedures for reporting incidents of discrimination on campus.
At 9:52 p.m., Aaron Roberson ’18, president of BSA, informed the students protesting in Galpin about the result of the negotiations. One hour later, photographs of the student leaders’