Posted May 26, 2017 by Cooper Point Journal in News

Campus Protest Update

Friday May 26

By Felix Chrome

On Wednesday, May 24, students occupied the Library building for nearly five hours to protest racism, anti-blackness, and mistreatment of students of color on campus. Students escorted college administrators into President George Bridges office where they were kept until they heard the group’s concerns. Some students agreed upon demands and delivered them to the faculty and administrators present.

Students’ demands included—

  • Changes to the student conduct code must have democratic student consent
  • Students AR and Lawrence, who are facing disciplinary measures from other protests, have all charges against them dropped
  • Evergreen Police Officer Tim O’Dell be suspended for his behaviour toward protesters earlier this week
  • The immediate Firing of Andrea Seabert Olsen, the Assistant to the VP of Student Conduct
  • Disarming Evergreen Police, with no expansions of police facilities or powers on campus
  • Sensitivity and cultural competency training for all faculty and staff
  • The creation of an Equity Center
  • The coordinator of Trans & Queer Center be hired in a permanent full time position
  • The creation of a permanent position dedicated to supporting undocumented students
  • And Bret Weinstein be suspended without pay

A compiled list of all demands, submitted by multiple groups of students, is available here.

We were told President George Bridges assured students that he would respond to all demands by Friday, May 26, and student organizers asked others to gather Friday in anticipation of an announcement from administration.

Immediately following the Wednesday occupation Bridges sent the student body and email stating that Evergreen would revise the Student Conduct Code to “serve students better” and implement annual anti-bias training for all faculty and staff. However in this email he stated “I commit to following up no later than Friday, June 2 with a more detailed timeline of dates by which actions will occur, who will be responsible for implementing each activity, and details about compensation offered for student work on these issues.” Not the May 26 date originally stated by students in the room with Bridges Wednesday.

The library occupation and demands delivered to the administration came after days of increased protest on campus. On Tuesday students disrupted the class of Bret Weinstein, who made allegedly racist statements in the past, and then the police were called, further angering students. While this aspect has been the focus of media attention, these protests are largely a response to a recent incident in which two black students were held and questioned by the Evergreen Police for multiple hours after they got into an argument about racism with another student, as well as other incidents when black students have been punished by the administration for political activity. In the wake of these recent events many students feel that there is a hostile environment of racism, anti-blackness, and police aggression on campus, and are devoted to continuing to fight for improvements and changes at the institution.

This story is rapidly unfolding, and we will continue to cover its developments. Check for more online updates, and find us in print on May 31 for an in depth look at what has been happening at Evergreen.