We, the Brown Undergraduate Council of Students (UCS), stand in solidarity with the coalition of concerned graduate students of color and delegates of the 2015 Latinx Ivy League Conference at Brown University and affirm their lists of demands to Brown administrators. Recent campus and national events have further underscored the need for immediate action to address institutional racism on our campus.
As UCS, it is our responsibility to hold the University accountable for ensuring a safe and secure environment for all its students. We are committed to shaping institutional policies that foster a positive campus climate for all. In order to create an inclusive atmosphere for students of color, we call for these demands to be explicitly addressed by Brown’s administration with concrete policy solutions.
Last week’s Blackout at Brown demonstration organized by Black undergraduate students and teach-in organized by Africana Studies graduate students were powerful displays of student voices highlighting the violence against Black and brown students on campus. Hundreds of students came together to demonstrate the need for substantial changes to University policy and culture.
Additionally, over the weekend, a senior delegate at the Latinx Ivy League Conference from Dartmouth College was a victim of excessive force by Brown’s Department of Public Safety. This incident disrupted the conference and prevented Latinx students from engaging in their programming as planned. During a meeting Saturday afternoon between President Paxson, DPS Chief of Police Mark Porter, and Latinx conference delegates, students again showed an outpouring of support for their peers who have faced institutional violence and demanded critical changes that Brown must enact to build a safe and supportive campus.
The work of student communities of color to mobilize student voices during this time of need is incredibly important as we work together to effect change and move forward as an entire campus. We urge the University to respond to these and other demands from communities of color by incorporating them into the upcoming Diversity Action Plan, set to be released this Friday (November 20, 2015). Furthermore, we compel administrators to acknowledge students’ roles in developing and articulating these crucial solutions.