Text Version of Demands

Black Students’ Alliance 1969 Demands

…The Black Students’ Alliance is aware of a lack of a ‘certain something’ here at Smith College that demands a swift and deliberate remedy. Our perspective of Smith College is very different from the middle class whites who have traditionally found a comfortable place here. As we have had to adapt ourselves to this different environment, we, the Black Students’ Alliance, insist Smith respond to us…

  1. We demand the immediate adoption of the Black Studies major and the execution of the necessary steps to insure its effective implementation, which presupposes:
    1. more Black related courses.
    2. drastic increase in the number of Black faculty, with the appropriate changes in departmental structure and size.
  2. We demand the creation of a joint supervisory committee composed of faculty members representative of the concerned departments in the major and members of the Black Students’ Alliance with concurrent powers to administrate the Black Studies major until qualified Black personnel can be obtained. The committee of the faculty and Black Students’ Alliance shall take whatever measures necessary to implement an effective Black Studies major including the search for and hiring of Black faculty, creation of new courses, and the acquisition of the necessary funds.
  3. We demand the appointment of a Black person to the Board of Admissions.
  4. We demand the utilization of the Black Students’ Alliance in the enlisting of a full-time recruiter to work in cooperation with the Board of Admissions in an effort to attract more Black students to Smith College.
  5. We demand a substantial increase in the number of Black students at Smith, which will entail:
    1. a more flexible admissions policy to increase the enrollment of non-white students, many of whom will not meet the current standards for acceptance.
    2. the inclusion of flexible supportive programs for students upon entrance to Smith and a commitment on the part of the faculty and administration to give students the help they need.
    3. the establishment of a policy of reserving places for candidates from acceptable pre-freshman summer programs.
    4. the utilization of the Black Students’ Alliance as an organization in the increased recruitment of non-white students outside the present areas of concentration.
    5. the expansion of recruitment in inner-city areas both in schools and in community service or other organizations.
  6. We demand the establishment on campus of a Black cultural center.
  7. We demand the revision of the Smith Student Exchange, expanding the program to a year and extending it to include more Black universities.
  8. We demand the expansion of the Junior Year Abroad program to include African universities.
  9. These demands must be met by Fall term, 1969.


Black Students’ Alliance 1970 Demands


We, the Black Students’ Alliance, feel strongly that our demands will add to the character, usefulness, and vitality of the college community and therefore necessitate top priority in the budget and activities of the Administration…

Our collective presence at Amherst is a statement of commitment to the concept of Community, for indeed Amherst is the white college community in microcosm. The Black Student Community is addressing itself to the inability of the white college community to define the nature of the Black reality, and the refusal to recognize the validity of self-determination on the part of the Five-College Black Community.

Self-definition and self-determination are the crucial issues in this and subsequent actions. We will not compromise our position on these issues.

We, Citizens of the Black Community, in order to productively direct your actions, have determined these mandates crucial. Accordingly: We demand:

that a minimum of ten per cent of each class, starting with the class of 1974, must be Black by the year 1972.

that the college provide those funds deemed necessary by the Black Students’ Alliance for the purpose of recruiting Black students in those communities to which the Black Students’ Alliance feels special attention should be given.

that there be an active member of the Board of Admissions solely representative of and responsible to the Black Students’ Alliance who will express the ideas, concerns and desires of the Black Students’ Alliance. This person must have all powers necessary to serve as an effective liaison between the Board of Admissions and guarantee the kind of Black student body that the Black Students’ Alliance feels necessary to our Black community.

The Black students must have a large enough Black community to maintain their Black identity if the cultural exchange at Smith College is to be at all effective.

We realize:

that the current amount of scholarship aid available for minority students is insufficient, therefore, in order to provide for the increasing number of Black students admitted to the college and to compensate for rising tuition, we demand the institution of a permanent and non-limited source of money which is to be used specifically for scholarship aid and tutorial assistance for Black students. The fund for this source must be able to be adjusted proportionately to the incurring changes in Black student enrollment and costs of tuition.

We demand:

that a Black person approved by the Black Students’ Alliance be hired to work on the housing placement of Black freshmen.

that this person make the final decision on all Black placements.

that this person be solely representative of and responsible to the Black Students’ Alliance.

that Black women and/or young Black couples be hired to serve in the capacity of Heads of House by September, 1970. Potential candidates for these positions must be approved by the Black Students’ Alliance.

The house at Smith is supposed to provide a social and academic center for the Smith student. However, the racist attitudes of many of the students along with the equally racist attitudes of some of the housemothers have made life in the house for Black Students at best uncomfortable and at worst insufferable. These demands are to insure that the interest of entering Black freshmen are represented in their housing placement.

We demand:

that the construction of the Black Cultural center based on the current plans and blueprints be discontinued.

that the entire Lilly Hall be designated as the Black Cultural Center.

that the plans and blueprints for Lilly Hall as the Black Cultural Center be approved by members of the Black Students’ Alliance chosen by members of the Black Students’ Alliance and that these members also approve any changes in the plans and blueprints. All furnishings and decorations must be approved by the Black Students’ Alliance.

that architectural consultants be hired as necessary, subject to the approval of the Black Students’ Alliance.

that the Black Students’ Alliance have final say over who and when those other than its members shall have access to the Black Cultural Center, and that the Black Students’ Alliance be the only organization to have the keys to the Black Cultural Center.

We demand:

that two Volkswagon vans and a station wagon be give to the Black Students’ Alliance for its private use.

that the students receiving financial aid be allowed to have private cars on campus.

We demand:

that a trust fund be established to cover the expenses incurred by the Black Students’ Alliance.

that such a fund would be administered by the treasurer of the Black Students’ Alliance through a checking account in a savings and loan institution. The administration of such funds would be subject to the approval of the Black Students’ Alliance.

that the endowment be increased annually in proportion to the size of the Black student population at Smith in consideration of the fast rising cost of living.

that such money as would be endowed be totally and unconditionally subject to the jurisdiction of the membership of the Black Students’ Alliance.

that this fund provide money for all aspects of the Black Students’ Alliance activities including the Smith contribution to the Seven-College Black Arts Festival, transportation and upkeep costs incurred in Black Students’ Alliance vehicles, and any other needs required by the membership of the Black Students’ Alliance.

We demand:

that Smith College in particular, fully cooperate with the Five College Black community in the immediate institution of a Five College Black Studies program. This commitment mandates the maximum financial support of Smith College.

Our immediate need is the hiring of a full-time Black Studies Director, responsive to the Five-College Black Community in the creation and coordination of a viable program on Smith’s campus. This Director must be ultimately approved by the Black Students’ Alliance of Smith College.

That times be scheduled to meet with prospective Black faculty visiting Smith’s campus. These meetings will involve members of the Black Students’ Alliance and the prospective Black faculty.


Concerned Students of All Colors 1988 Grievances

Press Statement

We thank you all very much for coming, and for affording us the opportunity to voice our concerns. The following are our grievances:


  1. Students of Color were not adequately represented in the hiring process of an Affirmative Action Officer, although their college experiences will be strongly affected by the job performance of this person.
  2. The job description for the Affirmative Action Officer is so vague and so much left to the discretion of President Dunn that no accountability or power is built into the position as it now stands.
  3. The school curriculum in most of the social sciences and humanities is practically devoid of positive images of Black, Latino, Native American or Asian peoples, focusing almost exclusively on White people and White Culture, despite the sizeable contributions of people of Color in all these subject-areas. Although a minority of academic departments do offer courses inclusive of racial and cultural diversity, these courses are few and tend to be upper-level, so that the average student can easily graduate from Smith College without studying the work or lives of people of Color in any course.
  4. Professors who wish to redesign their courses to encompass racial and cultural diversity must do so on their own, without formal support or incentives offered by academic departments or by the college as a whole. In fact, they may be indirectly punished for doing so, because the time they must spend doing remedial self-education in order to be able to teach inclusively is time they cannot devote to their formal research and writing. Knowledge of cultural diversity and the integration of such knowledge into all relevant classes is not a tenure or promotion requirement for professors, and it is unlikely to be considered.
  5. No incentives exist to encourage professional scholarship in topic pertaining to people of Color. Such incentives are necessary to counteract prevalent myths in academia which delegitimize such scholarship and refuse to recognize or reward it.
  6. The faculty at Smith College is practically all-White.
  7. The administration and staff at Smith is also practically all-White. No people of Color hold top administrative positions.
  8. The faculty and administrators of Color are at Smith are concentrated into positions which serve primarily students of Color, so their influence on the college as a whole is even more limited than their small numbers would suggest. Furthermore, the positions of the Assistant to the Dean for Minority Affairs and the Assistant Director of Admissions for Minority Concerns must be restructured. Currently these positions consist of enormous responsibility and no power whatsoever to implement programs and policies.
  9. Students of Color are routinely excluded from decision-making and policy-making bodies on issues which affect them. This exclusion is both direct and indirect, including the scheduling of important meetings and decisions during school vacations or during exams.
  10. There is no racial harassment grievance procedure for students, faculty or staff.
  11. Smith has trouble recruiting and retaining students and faculty of Color. No significant improvements in either of these areas have been made in the past years. Clearly, Smith is not a comfortable environment for people of Color.
  12. Although the majority of White students are fair and friendly in their relationships with students of Color, a significant minority remain hostile, reflecting the values of their parents and the broader society. This hostility takes the form of ignorant or offensive comments, racist graffiti, threatening notes, and the frequently expressed resentment that students of Color are “causing trouble,” “asking for special treatment,” or “ruining Smith traditions.”
  13. Certain professors express blatantly racist attitudes in class, or use racist materials without critical comment. Student challenges to such behavior have been met with indifference or accusation of overreacting. In addition, because there is no faculty training around these issues, there is no reason for the department head to be any more sensitive to racism than any other professor.
  14. Certain administrators refer students of Color to the Assistant to the Dean for Minority Affairs or the Assistant Dean for International Students regardless of whether the students’ concern relates to race or ethnicity.
  15. The top administrators, who have the power to make change at Smith, are doing nothing to educate themselves about racism. Although they have nominally provided programs for some lower-level administrators and staff to learn about oppression in general, the people who make the final decisions about most structural changes are not educating themselves. Thus every Smith community member who approaches them to demand change or redress must individually bear the burden of trying to educate these top officials.
  16. The Committee for Community Policy and Equity Institute, both of whom are charged with addressing the changes needed to create a non-racist, non-oppressive atmosphere at Smith, can only make recommendations. Neither body has any power to enforce their recommendations.
  17. The Smith College administration has been made aware of these complaints repeatedly, over the course of many years. The administration’s response has been feeble, slow, and designed more to placate than to make real change. While the administration does sometimes respond to individual acts of racism, such as Lilly Hall being spraypainted with racial slurs, or students in one dormitory receiving racist notes, Smith has for years refused to change the systemic racism within the institution. Many students and faculty of Color have become discouraged after years of effort, and some have left in protest; this year’s casualities include a long-standing, tenured Black faculty member, the Black Assistant Director of Admissions for Minority Concerns, and an unknown number of students.
  18. The recommendation of a Community Relations Specialist from the United States Department of Justice that Smith establish a civil rights policy encompassing all members of the college community was not responded to by President Dunn. Therefore, no official policy exists to hold the college accountable for civil rights violations.

Unless Smith College redresses these grievances immediately and effectively, Concerned Students of All Colors will take further action. On the recommendation of a Community Relations Specialist of the U.S. Department of Justice, we are considering filing a formal complaint with the Hampshire County District Attorney, as well as with the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination.


Concerned Students of All Colors 1988 Demands

Concerned Students of All Colors Program and Policy Proposals


We realize that change takes time. However, we expect Smith at least to have initiated the long-term proposals we have submitted to President Dunn, as well as all of the Committee on Community Policy and the 1985 ad hoc committee’s proposals, within four years. As a concrete show of good faith, we urge Smith to implement the following shor-term demands:

Within ten days:

  1. Release a plan for redressing racism at every level of the institution. The plan must detail specific programs and policies, concrete goals, criteria and dates for evaluation, funding, and timetables. Further, it must specify who is granted the power and responsibility for implementing each proposal.
  2. Form a new search committee including not only faculty, staff, administrators, but also a diverse representation of the student body with voting rights in the final selection of the new Affirmative Action Officer. We ask that the final candidates, Dr. Annette Lopez, Ms. Linda S. Cooper, and Mr. Richard Williams, be recalled for interviews with this committee at the beginning of the Fall of 1988 and not earlier. While the administration should monitor the availability of these candidates over the summer months, no hiring will be done until the Fall of 1988. If these candidates are unavailable, we request that the last ten candidates be recalled for interviews with the committee. If there are not at least three applicants available from this group, we ask that the search process be re-initiated and completed by the end of the Fall semester, 1988. If this occurs, the pre-screening stage of the search process must be completed by the beginning of the Fall semester, 1988, but no further action can be taken before the student body returns in September.
  3. Complete a Policy on Civil Rights by May 4, 1988, in conformity with the Civil Rights Legislation of the United States Congress and including a definitive grievance procedure.
  4. Create a clear and concise job description for the position of AAO, including the College’s Policy on Civil Rights and the responsibility and power to enforce that policy.

By September 1988:

  1. Make the following courses racially-inclusive. (Each is an introductory-level course or a major requirement.)

Art 100                                                 History 113

American Studies 220                     Music 201

Education 345                                   Philosophy 125

English 120 and 207                         Psychology 101

General Literature 291                     Religion 101

Government 100

  1. Allocate funding and begin the search for:

Four full-time faculty consultants to help integrate the curriculum

Two full-time professional experts in multicultural organizational

development to work with every department on campus toward

creating a racially inclusive atmosphere and structures. (This will also help in the retention of faculty of Color.)

Three full-time trainers to develop student education programs.

  1. Include students of Color in the hiring process for the Assistant Director of Admission for Minority Concerns and the Dean of the Faculty.


  1. Hire four full-time staff to work as consultants with every professor to integrate courses beginning with the largest introductory classes in every discipline.
  2. Offer release time for professors to re-design their courses: professors released from teaching one semester course for every course they are working on re-designing.
  3. Establish an annual fund available to professors to attend relevant professional conferences, trainings, and remedial classes, and for departments to sponsor colloquia and trainings for their faculty.
  4. Change promotion/tenure requirements in every department to include “demonstrated integration of all courses.” Each professor in a relevant discipline must acquire the knowledge to be able to teach comprehensive, racially-inclusive courses in her/his area of expertise.
  5. Temporarily waive the research/publication requirements for tenure or promotion during the period the professor is actively focused on remedial learning for the purpose of integrating her/his courses.
  6. Require all courses to be fully integrated by Fall 1990. In the meantime, professors must bring in guest speakers to teach about areas which they themselves are not yet prepared to teach. Establish a fund of $15,000 annually for professors to use for such guest speakers, movies, etc.
  7. Establish a grievance procedure—and a board with power to enforce decisions—to hear complaints against faculty who refuse to integrate their classes or who teach from a racist perspective. Any student, faculty member, or administrator must be able to start the grievance process; the burden must not always fall on students.
  8. Support specialized, upper-level courses focusing on people of Color, and support faculty in continually adding to these course offerings.
  9. Expand the number of faculty in Afro-American Studies, Latin American Studies, and Asian Studies, and give these departments sufficient financial and academic support to build comprehensive programs with full-time faculty.
  10. Establish annual awards for the best scholarship in topics pertaining to people of Color.
  11. Add a minimum 1-2 course diversity requirement to the major requirements in every social science and humanities department. The specialized, upper-level courses designated as fulfilling this requirement would be in addition to having integrated, inclusive courses at every level of study.


  1. Develop a uniform policy and procedures, in accordance with the college-wide civil rights policy, to govern faculty recruitment, hiring, promotion, and dismissal.
  2. Appoint a committee to monitor all departments’ job searches, hiring, promotion, tenure and dismissal decisions, and endowed chair appointments. The committee should include the Affirmative Action officer, Dean of the Faculty, faculty members from different disciplines, and students. This committee could also judge racial discrimination grievances brought against academic departments, and would be empowered to enforce decisions on those cases.
  3. Hold each department responsible for actively recruiting qualified candidates of Color. Provide experienced consultants to help departments develop non-traditional recruitment methods aimed at reaching candidates outside of mainstream White academic circles.
  4. Maintain a bank of faculty and administrators of Color’s curricula vitae, in every discipline, to off-set the informal Old Boys’ (and Old Girls’) networks that tend to continue the all-White hiring.
  5. Provide and publicize special research funds available to faculty of Color in any discipline.
  6. Provide and publicize special research funds available to faculty of any color researching topics pertaining to people of Color.
  7. Develop an appeals process for any faculty member who believes her/his department grants her/his work less legitimacy because it focuses on topics of Color.
  8. Give faculty of Color accelerated opportunity for promotion and tenure until such time as Smith’s faculty is fully integrated at all levels.
  9. Because there are so few faculty of Color, they are “asked to serve as minority representatives on an inordinate number of committees, as well as serve as academic and personal advisors to a large number of minority students.” Until there exists a large core of faculty of Color:
    1. Hire people of Color as support staff to take over some of the committee work and student advising.
    2. Appoint people of Color to academic dean positions.
    3. Establish a new position in counseling services for a psychologist of Color trained specifically in the problems of people of Color in a predominantly White environment. (This position should be permanent.)


  1. Develop active recruitment programs in high schools with predominantly Black, Latino, Native American, Asian, and International populations. Create at least 20 paid internships for students of Color to work as recruiters in these programs alongside the professional Admissions Office staff.
  2. Provide airfare for international students in exchange for their recruiting students of Color from their hometowns.
  3. Create a full-time Alumnae Association position dedicated to promoting and maintaining alumnae of Color networks.
  4. Make Smith Club presidents aware of Smith’s new dedication to creating a truly diverse community, and strongly encourage their efforts to recruit from areas with large populations of people of Color.
  5. Annually fund 15 internships for students of Color to return to their hometowns to work in programs serving high school students. These internships might be with schools, health centers, recreation programs, or anywhere else high school girls might meet this neighbor who goes to Smith.
  6. For students of Color whose financial constraints and/or distance from home prevent returning, establish a fund so every student can return home at least once in the four years here.
  7. Develop a network of alumnae and faculty who are willing to house students over vacations when financial constraints or distance prohibit students from going home. When on-campus vacation housing is available, waive fees, wherever financially necessary.
  8. Develop a book fund for poor students
  9. Either alone or with other colleges, start a scholarship fund to encourage students of Color to pursue advanced degrees.
  10. Provide intensive, mandatory training for all Head Residents, House Presidents, and Heads of New Students in the civil rights policy and grievance procedure. They will then be responsible for training House Councils.
  11. Ask each house to appoint a representative (similar to the CDO reps) to report to and from the Affirmative Action officer, Ombudsperson, and Student Monitoring Committee.
  12. Initiate active recruitment for Head Residents of Color.
  13. Establish and publicize a grievance procedure which specifically commits to attending to racial problems in houses within 40 hours.
  14. Designate the whole of Lilly Hall as space for students of Color. Move the Smith School of Social Work into a different building.
  15. Hire a psychologist specifically trained to serve students of Color living in a predominantly White environment (see #9c above).
  16. Restructure and empower the administrative positions specifically serving students of Color—Assistant Dean for International Students, and Assistant to the Dean for Minority Affairs.
  17. Empower a student monitoring committee to oversee the implementation of these proposals. The committee must be given office space, a budget, and access to all relevant information from academic and administrative departments.



  1. Hire three professional, permanent, full-time trainers to develop and implement an intensive, campus-wide education program to combat racism among students. Fund trainers’ salaries at professional levels, and give them sufficient budgets which reflect a commitment to their work.
  2. Continue to support the Bridge program.
  3. Implement a required anti-racism/diversity orientation for White freshwomen, to run concurrent with but separate from Bridge.
  4. Annually offer competitive, paid internships for students:

-To do research on topics related to people of Color

-To work with the professional trainers to implement educational programs

-To work with their major departments and professors to integrate the curriculum

  1. Annually offer awards and seed money for the best student-designed proposals for anti-racism/diversity projects.
  2. Establish mandatory racism-sensitivity trainings for student leaders in groups such as the Student Government Association, the Student Senate, the Sophian, Head Residents, Judicial Board, House Governments.
  3. For every student organization ostensibly open to any student, provide (via the trainers) assessment, strategies, and on-going supervision for creating truly multicultural structures. (See #3 below.)
  4. Establish a position in the Fine Arts Center Council specifically for searching out and sponsoring artists of Color. At least ten works a year by persons of Color must be brought in.


  1. Institute mandatory training for all current members of the faculty, administration and staff whereby both their responsibilities and the processes for redress under the civil rights policy are detailed.
  2. Require all new employees, as part of their orientation to Smith, to participate in similar training at the time they are hired.
  3. Make anti-racist commitment and sensitivity a job qualification for all faculty, administrative and staff positions. Include questions about diversity and racism on job applications, and consider the person’s actions as well as attitudes, knowledgeability as well as good faith.
  4. Hire two permanent, full-time professional experts in multicultural organizational development to meet with every employee group on campus to analyze the group’s current structure and to strategize and lay out guidelines for the group to become truly conducive to multicultural, multiracial participation. All academic and administrative departments, all committees, and every segment of the staff (not just supervisors) would, after an initial consultation and assessment, meet at least once a semester with the consultants to evaluate how much progress they are making toward creating a racially-inclusive atmosphere and structures. These trainers must have the power to implement policy.
  5. Fund the consultants at professional levels, and give them sufficient budgets which reflect a commitment to their work.


Concerned Students of All Colors 1989 Demands


The immediate implementation of these proposals is absolutely vital for the existence of women of color on this campus.

  1. We demand the expulsion of the culprits. At this time we want the entire Smith community to know that withholding information concerning any racist incident is a direct violation of the Judicial Board standards and will be treated as such.
  2. Mandatory four credit class required in order to graduate dealing with racism in/of the United States. The class should also address existence, forms of expression and means of combatting it.
  3. Mandatory racial and cultural awareness workshops for all students in their respective houses.
  4. According to the Smith Design, by 1998-99, the minority population of this campus should reach 20 percent. It is obvious that the existent Mwangi Cultural Center has neither the space nor the facilities to address the needs and concerns of this proposed minority population. Therefore, we demand that Smith realistically live up to its commitment by granting us more space. At the same time we want to let you know that it is not our responsibility to find office space for Smith College administrators such as the Cultural Center director.
  5. By Thursday, May 14, 1989 we demand a statement from Mary Maples Dunn informing us about the progress of the investigation. We demand that at convocation in September Dunn give us concrete responses to the above demands.


Student Grassroots Organizing Group 2002 Demands


April 16, 2002

To Whom It May Concern:

Through archival research, we have discovered a history of struggle on this campus. Fourteen years ago, the Concerned Students of All Colors presented the administration a list of grievances and offered them “one more chance” to respond to the needs of people of color at Smith. We are including portions of that document because that struggle continues to be ours today.

In a statement dated April 24, 1988 they said:

We feel that this institution has continued to be a segregated institution, hiding minorities in their designated slots and trotting them out to be counted. We are tired of watching our sisters of color leave this college in despair, and of seeing women graduate from this institution and go into positions of importance and power all over the world without a basic understanding of the strengths, virtues, values, and cultures of their neighbors. We are frustrated by committees granted only the power to “recommend” and not to effect real change. We have again and again renewed our faith and hope in this college only to have it repeatedly abused. We have tried every internal path possible in an effort to be heard and to help this college that we love to come into the twentieth century. But we have had enough. We refuse to believe that the only options open to us are occupying buildings or burning flags. We are giving this college one more chance to demonstrate that it can rationally examine itself and solve its problems, but we are losing patience and will seek the necessary outside action if we must.

The structural racism of this college has intimidated women of color and limited their educational opportunities. It has denied them role models outside of special studies linked only to their race and kept them ignorant of the values and intrinsic worth of their heritage. But it has also damaged the education and future of every woman here. This college was founded on the ideal that educated women can make the world a better place, and it still professes that ideal in every catalog it publishes. We believe that we cannot have a true liberal arts curriculum or educated, effective women graduate from this institution until the college commits itself to the elimination of discrimination and to the representation of all cultures at all levels of college life. We seek a definitive accountability in every aspect of this community, one that holds every individual and group responsible for their actions under a full civil rights policy. From the body of this policy will come all the specific and effective policies and actions in recruitment and retention of faculty and students, in the curriculum and the academic life, and in the quality of student life, that are now the focus of the administration’s efforts and studies. But without such an encoded and enforceable guiding policy, these scattered measures cannot be drawn together into a comprehensive whole. This policy is years overdue. This college has a great dependence upon precedence and custom and would ask us to trust again in the benevolence of future administrators. The history of this college is of white, upper-middle class women and had until the middle of this century excluded women of color. This tradition must be ended.

This hour of crisis is not new, and we are young in the experience. But we will not let this moment in our history pass to leave a more desperate fight in the hands of our sisters who will follow. We are full-time students, many with at least part-time jobs, who should be not forced in this midst of our studies to stop and lead the administration through the job it should be doing itself. We have been patient, we have been reasonable, but now we are angry students of all colors who are united in this demand for change in the name of justice and the love and hope we bear for our sisters and daughters who will follow.

As students concerned with the racist and homophobic events that have become increasingly visible at this school over the past weeks, as well as a history of under representation, we wish to present to you a list of our demands regarding the state of Smith College. We would like you to take the same amount of time and consideration that we have put into this list, and therefore, we refuse to comment until Thursday, April 18, 2002 at 3 p.m. at the earliest, at which point we encourage you to schedule a meeting with our negotiation committee who can be contacted via Sheela Rao at 413.585.6529. If our demands are not given consideration to our satisfaction, we are prepared to take further action. Our demands are as follows:

I. Issues concerning the Office of Institutional Diversity

  1. That before the 2002-2003 school year begins, a task force of race consultants, comprised primarily of people of color, be hired by a committee which meets our specifications.[*] The task force will work to ensure that open channels of communication are created, supported, and maintained between the administration and students of color, and will advise and oversee all aspects of the college community. This task force will include, but not be limited to, representatives for each of the following: the administration, the faculty, the staff, and the students. The task force will be charged with creating a policy to address and ensure representation of people of color in all college committees. Additionally, we demand a restructuring and expansion of all house diversity board programs, which would involve clearer definitions of these house diversity board positions, and would require training for these students in which they would attend meetings with the task force of race consultants twice a month, throughout the year. Individuals in diversity board positions will receive a stipend. These will not be Residence Life positions;
  2. That the task force of race consultants shall design and implement anti-racism training, with attention paid to class and other oppression education, which shall be approved by a student committee, for the President of the College, all employees of the College, Heads of New Students, House Presidents, House Councils, and other student leaders. Additionally, there shall be mandatory diversity workshops for all houses at the beginning (e.g. first month) of each semester. These programs must be implemented for the 2002-2003 school year;
  3. That Public Safety officers be investigated, reviewed and dismissed on the grounds of violations of the Smith College Statement of Nondiscrimination as adopted by the Board of Trustees February 22, 1997. Make the people who hire, call, and are public safety accountable. Additionally, we demand that Public Safety be required to include identifying information with every incident report that they file, i.e. a separate document where students self-identify racial/ethnic/sexual orientation/gender expression etc. which will be reviewed by the race consultants every six months in order to monitor racial profiling and sexual-identity profiling. If a public safety officer is accused of harassment in violation of the Smith College Statement of Nondiscrimination or accused of discrimination on the basis of gender identity or expression, this information will be noted on their file, and will remain on their file;
  4. That a strong and clearly delineated policy regarding the reporting and follow-up of racist incidents on campus be enacted; including equal student representation and voting on the review board for consideration of hate crimes and civil rights violations. Students who allegedly commit hate crimes and violate civil rights should be evaluated according to a revised policy, which mirrors state and federal legislation. If convicted, the student will be offered an opportunity to receive rehabilitation, or awareness training; if the student refuses, the details of the violation will be included in the student’s personal files, as well as on their transcript. Additionally, we demand a reworking of Judicial Board and its policies, including changes to the current procedures regarding anonymity, i.e. inform plaintiffs of the decisions regarding their cases;
  5. That the college make available free, neutral legal counsel to the students, faculty, and staff;
  6. That Disability Services undergo a major overhaul, including hiring more staff which must include people of color; promptly providing adequate services for all students; increase staff that will serve as advocates for students with disabilities; providing a comprehensive packet of information regarding the services available as well as providing extensive consultation with the student in order to assure that they understand what is available to them; establishing support groups and networks for students with disabilities. Furthermore, that all new construction and major renovation projects will include gender-neutral, handicapped accessible, single-stalled bathrooms , and that the committees which meet our student specifications be involved in the recruitment, hiring, retention and firing of Disability Services staff members;
  7. That an institutional history of racism and classism section be added to the college archives, as well as the Sophia Smith Collection. Additionally, due to her experiences at Smith College and the family’s objection to the use of her name, as well as the lack of information presented on her life after Smith College, a public history of the truth about Otelia Cromwell and the use of her name must be an integral component of all future Otelia Cromwell Days;

II. Issues concerning the Office of the Dean of the College

  1. That Residence Life be held accountable, and that the college adopt a zero-tolerance policy for any violations of the Smith College Statement of Nondiscrimination as adopted by the Board of Trustees February 22, 1997. Additionally, we demand that the college refuse to provide the former Resident Coordinator of Cutter House, as well as the former Area Coordinator of Lower Elm with any recommendations for future positions, and that the circumstances surrounding their resignations be included with their employment records;
  2. That Smith hire, by means of a committee which meets our specifications, two Conflict Resolution staff people, one of whom must be a person of color, who are required to create policy and execute trainings with all Residence Life staff, and be on-call to handle situations that require conflict resolution (this is different from the Ombudsperson who deals with mediation when situations arise that are beyond the capacity of Residence Life staff). The people who are hired must have background that shows their experience and expertise in dealing with race, class, gender, and sexuality;
  3. That a residence house for students of color and international students be created, the specifics of which will be determined by a committee wherein students of color will have the majority voting power. Additionally, that Unity House should remain open at all times so that there is always a space available on campus where students of color can meet, and that a computer lab be added to its facilities. Unity House can remain open by hiring a staff member and work-study students to monitor the facilities;
  4. That the housing assignment process be investigated by Student Affairs and be restructured to eliminate racism, classism, and the isolation of students of color in the designation of housing. Additionally, that early decision students no longer receive priority in the housing assignment process;
  5. That in addition to the steps already being taken regarding orientation, that a new, free, Anti-Oppression Pre-Orientation Program be established that will address issues of diversity. In addition, that a mandatory three-day Orientation Program be established for all entering students, including Ada Comstock scholars and transfer students, addressing issues of diversity. Both of these programs must include all issues addressed in the Smith College Statement of Nondiscrimination, as well as gender expression and identity. Furthermore, both of these programs must specifically address issues of white privilege, class privilege and heterosexual privilege;
  6. That health and counseling services actively recruit nurses, doctors, and counselors prepared to deal with issues of race, class, gender, sexuality, etc. All members of health and counseling services must be extensively trained in issues of eating disorders, body image, and size acceptance (as suggested by the 1997 “Envisioning Our Future, The Self Study Steering Committee” report). Additionally, at least three more nutritionists who are extensively trained in dealing with all body types must be hired, and they must work with Residence and Dining Services in developing menus to suit these students’ needs. Staff must be prepared to deal with people who are facing cultural shock, including shifts in climate, region, and/or diet; e.g. international students. Aggressively seek and hire professional people of color, including a transgender/transsexual identified person, in health and counseling services;
  7. That Past-President Ruth Simmons’ efforts to increase and support racial diversity at this institution are maintained and expanded under the new administration, with specific focus paid to the operation of admissions: the addition of at least one elected student representative to the admissions committee. We demand a return to the need-blind system, which was eliminated during the 1998-1999 school year, a reevaluation of how “need” is defined and assessed, and an extensive commitment to meet the full determined need after accepting students. This means a higher ratio of grants to loans must be implemented in order to decrease the size of student loan debts upon graduation. We also demand that the college inform students more clearly of their financial aid options, including, but not limited to, informing early-decision students about their financial aid packages prior to their binding decision;
  8. That Smith will not the images of any students, e.g. students of color, to present an unrealistic image of the school. If the administration wishes to attract a specific demographic, they must be accountable to these students by creating or improving programs at the school for support of said students. The representations in the guidebooks and literature must be reflective of the student body.

III. Issues concerning the Office of the Provost/Dean of the Faculty

  1. That every student be required to take a class on race and ethnicity to graduate, and a race and ethnicity designation for Latin Honors. Additionally, Smith College must expand upon the Five College Certificate Programs in Area Studies leading to the creation of independent departments including, but not limited to: Asian American Studies, Native American Studies, Chicana/o Studies, African Studies, Ethnic Studies, Multiracial/Interracial Studies, Gender and Sexuality Studies, Queer Studies and others;
  2. That changes in the college’s tenure process be undertaken in order to create a system offering greater and continued support for faculty of color, emphasizing recruitment and retention of these faculty members. Additionally, that complaints against faculty members regarding violations of the Smith College Statement of Nondiscrimination as well as incidents of gender discrimination, become part of their permanent record, and are dealt with explicitly by the Tenure and Promotions Committee during review;
  3. That the Target of Opportunity Program be expanded (inclusion of senior-staff, Ada support staff, and other decision-making bodies in addition to faculty), to aggressively recruit several people of color at a time, with specific focus on hiring more women of color. In conjunction with the Target of Opportunity Program, the College should develop formal relationships with historically Black colleges and universities in order to create regular faculty exchanges. This requirement must include action in every department, every program, and Athletics, particularly in those in which people of color are historically underrepresented. This program should include a student review board on a committee that meets our specifications that deals with recruitment, hiring, retention and firing of all included faculty members;
  4. That the proposed change to the student Faculty Teaching Award selection process be rejected. At present, these awards are an opportunity for the students to honor the teachers they feel are most deserving. If this forum were removed, students would have no opportunity to show their appreciation.

Once again, we are willing to meet with you only after Thursday, April 18th at 3 p.m.; our lawyers have advised us not to meet with you unless you agree to have the meeting recorded. Unless Smith College addresses these demands to our satisfaction, we will take further action.

The Student’s Grassroots Organizing Group


2012 Student Demands (Mobilizing Smith College)


Consolidated List of Demands

Description of doc: It was suggested during a mobilizing lunch meeting on April 20th that one of the best things to do before the year ends is to consolidate and prioritize the List of Demands that has already been created. We are beginning this work now at the next Mobilizing Meeting April 27th: (as always edit away!)

When editing: Look to the 2002 List of Demands/Repair List (http://www.smith.edu/repair/initiatives.php) to make note of demands that were asked in 2004 and have not yet have been met, or have been implemented and are now being dismantled

General Definitions:

  • Short Term Demand- to begin implementation in the 2012-2013 school year and be completed by fall 2013
  • Long Term Demand- to begin implementation no later than 2015
  • There will be specific timelines for each demand but “short term” and “long term” are defined to make prioritizing easier!

Time Plan for edit this document before school ends:

  • Work on short term demands before the year ends

Expand on demands and change phrasing.  Add comments by highlighting text, and clicking ‘Insert -> comment’.

This list of Demands is currently being made into a spreadsheet with a focus on what Smith already has in place, and what more needs to be done.  This spreadsheet will be worked on this summer.

Plan of Implementation for the demands:

  • The administration should work with a committee of students on a timeframe for implementation for this list of demands.

2012 List of Demands for Smith College


1)        That a social justice requirement, similar to the ‘writing intensive’ requirement, be implemented into the curriculum.  Social justice education is just as vital to the Smith education as writing.  This requirement should be fulfilled within a student’s first two years at Smith, and a multitude of existing classes in varying fields should be able to fulfill this requirement.

That the college create social justice classes for full academic credit that are based in educational methodologies of dialogue, community-building, and alternative/critical pedagogies. We believe there is a critical need to expand definitions of “academic” work, to be inclusive of pedagogical and educational models that have emerged directly out of social justice movements, and for the college to recognize that the academy has historically served to center the most privileged perspectives and systems of power in part through rigid definitions of “valuable knowledge” and “academic thought”. These classes should be based on models that have proved to be effective at other academic institutions, such as (but not limited to): Intergroup Dialogues at UMass-Amherst and Mount Holyoke College; and Grassroots Community Organizing, the UMass Alliance for Community Transformation (UACT), Phallacies, the Citizen Scholars program at UMass-Amherst;

2)     Break into Different Demands, needs to be more specific   That House Presidents/reslife Heads of New Students, and Diversity Committee members be trained in social justice, anti-oppression, privilege, conversation facilitation, and active bystander training (including how to deal with micro-aggressions). That Diversity Representatives are given a more significant role in house counsels (moved from “extended house council” to “core house council”) and be given resources to have regular events and discussions in their houses about diversity and social justice issues as well as campus and house culture.  That all Residence Life Staff and House Presidents, not only incoming House Community Advisors, be trained in social justice mediation.

An effective harassment and bystander training for Residence Life staff and House Council members as a means of addressing microaggressions within house communities.  The training should be available and open to all members of the campus once per semester.  **DEFINE MICROAGGRESSIONS**

3)   That the Ada Comstock Scholars program be revitalized and a five year plan enacted to increase the number of Ada Comstock Scholars admitted to Smith College.  That a portion of fundraising being undertaken for financial aid efforts at Smith College be allocated to the expansion of the Ada Comstock Scholars program.#  The admissions department should be actively recruiting Ada Comstock Scholars of color.

4) Increased and sustained financial support for Office of Institutional Diversity and Equity.  The Office of Institutional Diversity and Equity must reinstate the Diversity Bulletin, last published at the end of 2003-2004 academic year as indicated by http://www.smith.edu/repair/initiatives.php, to provide transparency between the office and the Smith community. The publication will detail all noted incidents (and recurring microaggressions) which have transpired within the Smith community and the actions the office has implemented and that are ongoing to handle such incidents. The office will also provide a timeline of how long the implementation processes will take.

5) Identity-based housing. That a focus group made up primarily of students of color from all class years, to be directed by the Social Justice Committee of the Office of Residence Life, be created to discuss the creation of a residence house for students of color and a residence house for international students.

6) All new construction projects and renovations must include an elevator or chairlift with access to all floors of the house. The projects must include the creation of gender-neutral, wheelchair accessible, single-stalled bathrooms.

The creation of a Facilities Management Accessibility Work Order Form, to allow students who need a work order immediately because it affects their everyday living to get a more immediate response to their work order request. In addition, we request a commitment from Facilities Management to fill these work orders within a certain amount of time (i.e. 3 days). As well as a documented list of times that something needs repair, for example the elevator in Seelye. This way, we can monitor if something breaks repeatedly, perhaps we should replace it, or find a new method of providing accessibility.

–discuss with No Pity Org to incorporate the demands that their org has already been discussing

7)        The College should create a fund in order to fund Learning Disability testing for students of low income, who cannot afford testing. This fund would allow students to be tested and receive services on campus to help them thrive. -talk with Laura Rauscher and Active Minds

8)        Female-identified transgender students should be allowed to apply to Smith College.SPECIFY THIS DEMAND TO BE IN ACCORD WITH LEGAL POLICY “of what it means to have legally transitioned” AND HOW THAT CAN DIFFER FROM SMITH’S POLICY TO ALLOW MORE TRANSWOMEN–LONG TERM

9)        An expansion of counseling services.  At least one person of color must be hired as part of the counseling services staff within the next year.  The college should also aggressively seek and hire a trans*-identified counselor in health and counseling services

10)   In light of the fact that budget cuts have historically targeted diversity initiatives, the Ada Comstock program, and other vulnerable or marginalized members of the Smith community, a long-term and strategic plan must be created in order to ensure that in future moments of financial crisis, the institution upholds a strong commitment to maintaining critical diversity initiatives, and thoroughly explores other ways to adjust the budget, including the willingness to explore an increase in the endowment take-out rate; flesh out more 


1)        That the students in each house be required to work together to come up with a House Social Honor Code, to be collaborated on in a mandatory house meeting at the beginning of each academic year.  Every student will be required to sign this document.  Should the student violate the house social code, they will be required to meet with their Residence Life Staff, and, if appropriate, their Area Coordinator, to decide on a course of action and a way for that student to change their behavior in the community. If people are engaged in the process of coming up with their own house’s social code, it would theoretically make them more invested in maintaining it.  It would be taken more seriously than an abstract “law” created by the college that people do not feel they have a connection to.  The discussion of creating the social code would also hopefully mean that people understand it more deeply than something permanent.

2)     That Heads of New Students and the Diversity Committee are also required to attend a social justice/ anti-oppression training similar to the one that ResLife staff attend.

3)        That a system be put in place to respond effectively, efficiently, and sensitively to hate crimes on campus; that students targeted are provided with a trained advocate to make sure they know all their legal and administrative options for responding to the crime as well as their own rights in the investigation process and what resources (i.e. legal and counseling services) they have on and off campus; ongoing support and check-ins by the advocate to ensure student well-being, as well as the option of having the advocate represent student or be present with student at any meetings with administrators or investigators; that the investigation process be made as transparent as possible without compromising the investigation; and that the process of instituting repercussions for the perpetrator take into account the wishes of the person(s) targeted as well as whatever steps need to be taken to ensure the safety of every member of the Smith community.

A follow-up meeting/check-in as well as continuing support for those that have received hateful notes, or had hateful/discriminatory things said to them. IE: A specific staff member who is in charge of the mental health/support services of these students. Students affected should be given access to counseling resources, should they feel it necessary for their emotional well-being.

4)               A comprehensive diversity/social justice/anti-oppression training for all entering students, faculty, and staff, including traditional students, transfer students, and graduate students.  This should be led by well-trained students and outside facilitators and/or organizations.  It can begin at first-year and transfer orientations, but must not stop there.  It should be carried out within houses, in classes, and in campus events, including an annual lecture and workshop series to bring in prominent scholars on these issues to speak on how power relates to daily interactions. ORIENTATION – for Fall 2013

In addition to the steps already being taken regarding orientation, that a new, free, Social Justice/Anti-Oppression Pre-Orientation Program be established that will address issues of diversity, anti-oppression, privilege, and respect.. In addition, that a mandatory Orientation Program be established for all entering students, including Ada Comstock scholars and transfer students, addressing issues of diversity and social justice. Both of these programs must include all issues addressed in the Smith College Statement of Nondiscrimination, as well as gender expression and identity. Furthermore, both of these programs must specifically address issues of white privilege, class privilege, heterosexual privilege, able-bodied privilege, cisgender privilege, religious acceptance. (Taken from 2002 demands)

5)     An expansion of counseling services.  At least one person of color must be hired as part of the counseling services staff within the next year.  The college should also aggressively seek and hire a trans*-identified counselor in health and counseling services;

6)        ISO/Bridge (stop cutting the funding!!!, etc.) The $30 fee to participate in the Bridge Program will be eliminated. The program will be extended back to atleast (7?) days up from the current 5 day program which was downsized to in 20??.

Needs to be fleshed out into an actual demand, need to talk to ISO

7)        transparency around funding. That information about financial and funding resources on campus, particularly lesser-known ones (eg. the CWL & dean’s office funding sources list, the health insurance grant, the women of color emergency fund) be included with students’ financial aid packages, so that students on financial aid are immediately and explicitly made aware of the resources that are available to them;  update the chart that is already in existence and PUBLICIZE. Needs to give more information about what people can specifically apply for that empowers them to feel entitled to apply to them


  • That a thorough and ongoing investigation be conducted of discriminatory patterns and dynamics present in the enforcement of college policy, particularly in or by Judicial Board, Honor Board, ResLife staff and Public Safety officers. This investigation would be conducted by a committee composed of students, staff, and faculty, who (after signing confidentiality agreements) will have access to information about the social identities (race, gender/gender presentation, ability, etc) of students subjected to disciplinary action, and/or be able to observe the disciplinary enforcement. The committee will compile an annual summary of the findings and produce a set of recommendations to be publicly released and aggressively implemented in order to prevent discrimination in the implementation of disciplinary measures. All Judicial Board, Honor Board, ResLife Staff and Public Safety officers will also be required to attend a mandatory annual training on discrimination and profiling, to be designed specifically with the committee’s recommendations and findings in mind. needs to be talked about: how it can be structured differently,to not be highly bureaucratic process but still expose inst. Racism
  • The creation of an online page with facilities management updates about current and future construction on campus to allow students, faculty and staff to know about construction impeding their way. In addition, the creation of a committee on which a student will sit to talk about priorities and needs on campus. This will allow students to have input about what is important and necessary for students to thrive here.
  • Discussions about class differences and oppression and diversity as seen through class, both for current students and incoming students, beginning with an acknowledgement that Smith is made up of students from extremely different class backgrounds, as well as further discussion about the intersectionality between class, gender, sexuality, race, and ability. **WHAT IS THE APPROPRIATE FORUM FOR SUCH DISCUSSIONS?**  This is not a demand, more concrete demands are on the list already, can this be incorporated into the others?
  • That the Women’s Resource Center and the Resource Center for Sexuality and Gender be understood as vital to our community, and resourced with this consideration. That perhaps a merged Resource Center for Women, Sexuality, and Gender be viewed with the same gravity as the Center for Work and Life, Center for the Environment, Center for Community Collaboration, and Global Studies Center, and staffed and resourced accordingly.  This center must have at least one full-time staff member, and additional work-study positions (as the other centers already have). **think about adding Unity House to this list? talk to people who are already doing this (Annie Cohen is working on WRC and RCSG)


  • Additionally, we demand a restructuring and expansion of all house diversity board programs, which would involve clearer definitions of these house diversity board positions, and would require training for these students in which they would attend meetings with the task force of race consultants twice a month, throughout the year. Individuals in diversity board positions will receive a stipend. These will not be Residence Life positions, and these positions must be elected by houses in the spring so that they will be trained in the fall.
  • That Former President Ruth Simmons’ efforts to increase and support racial diversity at this institution are maintained and expanded under the new administration, with specific focus paid to the operation of admissions: the addition of at least one elected student representative to the admissions committee. We demand a return to the need-blind system, which was eliminated during the 1998-1999 school year, a reevaluation of how “need” is defined and assessed, and an extensive commitment to meet the full determined need after accepting students. This means a higher ratio of grants to loans must be implemented in order to decrease the size of student loan debts upon We also demand that the college inform students more clearly of their financial aid options, including, but not limited to, informing early-decision students about their financial aid packages prior to their binding decision;

One resource we can look to is the US Department of Education Civil Rights Office, which provides a checklist outlining a comprehensive response to harassment or hate crimes.  This can put pressure on the school and shows that these demands are not just coming from us, but are also related to what the government suggests.

Me again.  I think your strongest and most evolutionary message has been “Diversity != Social Justice” and here’s how I read that: “it’s unjust to recruit a diverse student body and then fail to guarantee all students a safe and supportive environment when they get here.”  For that reason I think the #1 priority should be implementing changes that make students feel safe and supported.  I do not think it’s reasonable to expect that we can prevent all hateful acts before they occur, but we can respond to them in a way that reinforces safety and support instead of undermining trust.  An Honor Code is a good framework for this.  I’d like to see an Honor Board empowered to investigate and expel for proven hateful actions.


As a white queer mostly female person, I am also very sensitive that we privileged white queer/feminists must take extra care to keep racial justice and racist incidents front and center when they occur.  Though I am arguably an oppressed person, racism is not about me and I mustn’t use my privilege to pretend that it is.  Cheryl Hammond ‘93


[*] Throughout this document we refer to “committees” for the selection and review of various processes. In each case, “committees” means: equal student-to-staff representation, equal voting power, and representation of people of color.