Occidental College Protest

Dayja Tillman said she feels ''marginalized'' as a third year African American student at prestigious Occidental College in Eagle Rock.  "

Meetings are cancelled. Clubs are defunded. Classes don't reflect her life experience. We spoke with her in an unusual position and location, as she was  sitting cross legged on the floor of the Administration Building as she worked on her Macbook. 

She is one of hundreds staging a 60's style sit in since Monday demanding progress on the treatment of and education of minorities on campus. Specifically, they have 14 demands, among them that there be a fully funded Black Studies program, that there be a 20 % increase in tenured faculty of color, and that there is a real commitment to diversity and diversity training on campus.

If not they demand that school President Jonatan  Veitch resign. Veitch's response, echoed by the Board of Trustees, is essentially, "I'm not resigning but I''m willing to work with you ."  

Will that be enough? We'll see, the occupation of the administration building continues indefinitely, and that so far has not been a problem, as activity continues and people simply walk around the sleeping bags, mattresses, sofas, and other things people are using to try to get comfortable. 

But here, as in many other campuses nationwide, as far away as the Univ. of Missouri and as close by as Claremont McKenna, to name just a couple of many students are trying to make the administration uncomfortable and force change now, on their timetable, not the timetable of an administration some see as out of touch and unyielding.  So far it seems to be working.
 

 

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