Oberlin Students Release Gargantuan 14-Page List Of Demands
By Blake Neff
Oberlin College students have finally joined dozens of other colleges in releasing a Mizzou-inspired set of demands for their administration, and while the demands come a month late, they make up for it by being very numerous and remarkably extreme.
The list, which bubbled up online over the past three days, is no less than 14 pages in length, and includes a staggering 50 demands, many of which divide into several sub-demands. Not only are the demands numerous, but they are quite severe and are paired with stern rhetoric. The document opens as follows:
Oberlin College and Conservatory is an unethical institution. From capitalizing on massive labor exploitation across campus, to the Conservatory of Music treating Black and other students of color as less than through its everyday running, Oberlin College unapologetically acts as [sic] unethical institution, antithetical to its historical vision. In the 1830s, this school claimed a legacy of supporting its Black students. However, that legacy has amounted to nothing more than a public relations campaign initiated to benefit the image of the institution and not the Africana people it was set out for … [T]his institution functions on the premises of imperialism, white supremacy, capitalism, ableism, and a cissexist heteropatriarchy. Oberlin College and Conservatory uses the limited number of Black and Brown students to color in its brochures, but then erases us from student life on this campus. You profit off of our accomplishments and invisible labor, yet You expect us to produce personal solutions to institutional incompetencies. We as a College-defined “high risk,” “low income,” “disadvantaged” community should not have to carry the burden of deconstructing the white supremacist, patriarchal, capitalist system that we took no part in creating, yet is so deeply embedded in the soil upon which this institution was built.
After continuing in this manner for a while and outlining some broad goals (such as “the eradication hegemony in the curriculum”), the document begins to reel off demands, warning that they are “not polite requests, but concrete and unmalleable demands.” If Oberlin doesn’t capitulate, the document warns of a “full and forceful response,” though, despite the detailed demands, what the “response” would be remains entirely undefined...
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