SIU Administrators Succumb to Student Demands, Issue New ‘Diversity Plan’

Victoria Stroup, Campus Reform, May 4, 2016

Southern Illinois University surrendered to student protesters Tuesday, issuing a new diversity plan in response to a May 2 campus-wide walkout.

Interim Chancellor Brad Colwell unveiled the plan in a message to the campus community, saying the university’s goal is to provide a “welcoming campus where all of our students, faculty, and staff can study and work in a respectful, positive environment free from racism and intimidation.”

The new initiatives come in the wake of a May 2 protest in which more than 200 students angry with “racism, sexism, student debt, the state’s historic budget impasse, and administrators’ salaries” marched through campus shouting slogans including “No justice, no peace,” “Hands up, don’t shoot!” and “Fuck Donald Trump!”

The day after the protest, Colwell put forth SIU’s diversity plan, which includes seventeen points “to improve the climate of our campus,” “to better support all of our students,” and “to ensure that our faculty and staff better reflect the diversity of our community.”

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Additionally, SIU hopes to “integrate cultural diversity into the curriculum.” {snip}

Several conversations and workshops that focus on “understanding, valuing, and respecting diversity” are also now scheduled for the fall. Accordingly, SIU plans to “incorporate cultural awareness” in its fall orientation for incoming freshmen, and even amended its student conduct code to “ensure that it adequately addresses discrimination and intimidation.”

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