Students at Hampshire College, in Amherst, Mass., walked out of class this morning to protest what they saw as administrators’ insufficient commitment to fighting racism, the Associated Press reported.
As part of a series of events called Action Awareness Week — featuring a teach-in, a speak-out, and a writing workshop on oppression — a group of students had presented a list of 17 diversity-related demands (also posted on Facebook) to Hampshire’s president, Ralph J. Hexter.
Among other things, the students were calling for additional faculty and staff positions in multicultural affairs, mandatory “anti-oppression training” for all employees, and residence halls exclusively for students of color and for “queer-identified” students. A few hundred students staged the walkout, an organizer told the AP, when the college’s president did not immediately agree to their demands.
But Mr. Hexter, who is one of academe’s few openly gay presidents, has had several lengthy meetings with the student activists, and he plans to sit down with them again this afternoon, said Nancy Kelly, senior adviser to the president. —Sara Lipka