Colgate Reaches Deal to End Sit-In

September 29, 2014

A student sit-in at Colgate University came to an end Friday after administrators released a detailed 21-point plan that the university called a "roadmap to the future." The demonstration, which grew to include at least 350 students and had just entered its fifth day, was meant to raise awareness about how minority students were treated by other students on the predominantly white campus and to convince the administration to do more to improve the climate and increase diversity. 

The plan says that Colgate will install security cameras on campus buses, where racist, sexist, and homophobic slurs have been directed at students; revise its hiring practices so that job postings encourage candidates to describe their strengths with "teaching diverse student populations and in promoting a diverse and inclusive" environment; and develop and carry out diversity training for admissions and financial aid staff. Though a key request from students, the university will not require faculty to go through diversity training, keeping the training voluntary but reworking sessions so that they are more structured and accessible to faculty. Colgate will also expand its bystander intervention programs -- designed to address sexual assault -- to include sessions about unconscious bias, communication across differences, and respect in the workplace. 

"Colgate must fulfill its promise of being an inclusive institution for students of all backgrounds," the Association of Critical Collegians, the student group that led the sit-in, said in a statement. "Our hope moving forward is that this new action plan will create lasting change in our campus community."

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