Approximately 150 students at the University of California, Santa Cruz have occupied the school’s administration building since Tuesday afternoon armed with a long list of demands for the educational institution.
The demands include painting the Rosa Parks African-American Themed House red, black and green — the colors of the Pan-African flag.
— Alex Rubinstein (@RealAlexRubi) May 3, 2017
“The Afrikan Black Caribbean identified students have spoken,” the African/Black Student Alliance group — which organized the protest — said in a statement, according to NBC Bay Area. “The issues on this campus far exceed anything easily fixed.”
According to local ABC News affiliate ABC 7, the sit-in protest began around 1 p.m. Tuesday at Kerr Hall. The protesters reportedly are pushing the administration to guarantee four-year housing at Rosa Parks African American Themed House, located at Stevenson College. They are also demanding housing for African-black-Carribean students at the house; are demanding a four-bedroom low-income housing cooperative for the benefit of “historically disadvantaged students,” adding that the Afrikan Black Student Alliance wants to manage the property; and want all incoming students to have diversity competency training.
The students reportedly chained the Kerr Hall’s front door shut and barred other entrances using furniture.
A statement also included the demand that “the university allocate an additional $100,000 to the SOAR/Student Media/Cultural Arts and Diversity (SOMeCA for the hiring of an advisor who has personal and professional experience handling African/Black/Caribbean student issues) permanently.”
UC Santa Cruz spokesman Scott Hernandez-Jason told Fox News that the protest is peaceful, and that the school is focused on ensuring the staff and students who are occupying them remain safe. He reportedly said:
Chancellor George Blumenthal has been working with several student groups, including the African/Black Student Alliance and the Black Experience Team, over the past year to explore ways to effectively address some of their concerns. We’ve taken some steps forward, including hiring a recruitment specialist and a retention specialist, and continue to discuss how we can make sure that all students feel supported and have a sense of belonging.
In November 2015, Oxy United for Black Liberation, a coalition created by members of Occidental College’s Black Student Alliance, occupied the privately-funded liberal arts institution’s Arthur G. Coons Administrative Center building for six days. Some professors even backed the student protesters.
Similar protests and occupations had taken place at the University of Southern California.
Last year students at the University of California Berkeley campus held protests calling for “safe spaces” for transgendered people and “spaces of color” at the university. The protesters were caught on video harassing white students and preventing them from crossing a bridge that receives heavy foot traffic, only allowing for students of color to pass.