Black Student Demands

Then and Now

In both 1968 and 2015, Black students submitted a list of demands to the UO administration. The demands share key similarities in regards to academics, access to financial aid, and a space for Black students on campus.

From the 1968 Demands

To reduce racial tension on campus, and to eradicate those inhumane acts and attitudes of racism at the University of Oregon, we, the Black students, submit the following demands, which must be acted upon immediately.

…all students at the [UO] be exposed to Afro-American history, literature, and culture … A university which has the primary purpose of training teachers, social workers, social scientists, etc., to deal with the problems of society, yet excludes the historical and literary heritage of all the people, is not performing a legitimate function in the face of today’s realities.

That Black professors must be hired.

It is … imperative that the factor of “need” should be the most relevant criterion for the evaluation of an application for aid. That office space and adequate facilities be provided to the Black Student Union in order to conduct a study skills and tutoring center.

From the 2015 Demands

… the UO administration has contributed to a climate that fosters cultural intolerance and incompetency. For this reason, we … are formally DEMANDING that the UO administration … implement a plan that will create a healthy and positive campus climate for Black students.

Commit to having Ethnic Studies 101 as a graduation requirement. … Without taking this course, students are not sufficiently prepared with basic cultural competence skills to navigate the diversifying world.

Commit to hiring … Black faculty across all academic disciplines…

… [Create] a Funding Resource and Scholarship initiative that is designed exclusively to support … students that identify as Black/African American.

… FUND AND OPEN a Black Cultural Center … with sufficient space to function as 1) a classroom to teach courses such as African American history, and 2) a meeting space for Black student organizations.

UO's Black Cultural Center

What's in a Name?