WOOSTER, Ohio – This morning, about 350 Wooster students walked out of class at 11:40 a.m. and gathered on the steps of Kauke Hall to express their deep concern over a range of issues related to diversity and equity on campus, including but by no means limited to the racist Facebook posts by one of their fellow students.
Following remarks on the steps, about 250 – 275 of the students moved on to Galpin Hall where they began a sit-in and released a detailed list of demands. The remaining students went to Lowry Center, to deliver the same demands at the offices of residence life and student activities.
Representatives from the student group in Galpin are meeting with Dean Scott Brown and other members of the administration now to discuss in detail those demands. President Sarah Bolton is, unfortunately, sidelined at the moment after falling and breaking her wrist this morning, but hopes to be able to join that conversation soon. In the meantime, she has released the following statement:
“We share our students’ concerns, and deeply appreciate their engagement with this critically important work. It is crucial that The College of Wooster be a truly just and inclusive space, where a diverse community of students, staff and faculty can live, work and thrive, free of any kind of discriminatory or racist acts and the harms that they cause. As I wrote in the introduction to the diversity, equity and inclusion strategic plan (.pdf), released in August, ‘The College of Wooster has long held the understanding that students’ best opportunities for learning take place when they study in a community that spans a wide range of experiences, traditions, perspectives and beliefs. These commitments reach all the way back to our founding president.’ We believe that achieving our educational purpose is only possible in a diverse community of learners, and that we hold a fundamental responsibility to equity for all members of our community.”
“We know that work is urgent, and recent events have underscored just how much remains to be done. We are committed to doing that work together.”