Student Protest brings change to IU

The student protest held on Martin Luther King Jr. Day was a day for all minorities to come together and demand change. Some of the demands were met and others are still pending, waiting for approval from the Bloomington Faculty Council. The list of demands made by the Student Coalition were:

  • the establishment of an Asian Culture Center
  • appointment of an Asian American Advocacy Dean
  • recognize the King Holiday
  • implementation of a Latino Studies Department
  • increase in the number of Non-White and Women faculty
  • maintain/expand the Office of Diversity Programs
  • funding and permanence for the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual Office

The negotiators, consisting of six people from the coalition, negotiated from early afternoon until evening with Vice President Kenneth Gros Louis. After long hours of negotiating, every demand was somehow met. A Latino Studies Department will be established and the GLB Office will remain on campus. The university will allocate $50,000 to the establishment of an Asian Culture Center, although, further funding will need to be brought up with the Bloomington Faculty Council. As for an Asian American Advocacy Dean, Gros Louis supports it but the Bloomington Faculty Council must approve it. Increasing the number of Non-White and Women faculty and recognition of the King holiday will be discussed with the Bloomington Faculty Council. President Myles Brand supports the recognition of Martin Luther King Jr. Day but cannot make the decision without the approval of the Bloomington Faculty Council.

January, 20, 1997 was a day of revolution for all minorities on the IU campus. Though, not all the demands were met all the way, it was a considerable step to change from the situation before. News media from Indianapolis and Bloomington covered the protest. The student protest was heard all around the state. A day that was planned out for three long years brought change to the IU Bloomington campus which was in need for change. Count this as a victory for students all across the campus.

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