The petition directly addresses University President Sue Thomas, the Board of Governors and Student Government and calls for more Black representation in faculty and staff, more scholarships for Black students, more transparency in investigations of racist practices and more dialogue from campus administration.
The list of demands are as follows:
- We demand that Truman State University hire more Black faculty, especially for courses surrounding Blackness. We demand that Human Resources immediately express efforts to hire and retain Black faculty and staff. Further, we demand the routine publication of racial demographics for faculty, staff, and administration.
- We demand at least one Black counselor and academic advisor on Truman’s campus.
- We demand that University Counseling Services be expanded to better help Black students. UCS employees should undergo anti-bias training. Truman State University should seek to employ more Black staff at UCS.
- We demand more scholarships for Black students outside of those just available for active ABC members or athletes. We demand a list of all financial aid available for Black students at the state and federal level.
- We demand that the fee-based organizations develop and present initiatives to better serve Black students. We demand a Black representative to the Funds Allocation Committee. We demand input in programming put on by the Student Activities Board. We demand increased representation in the Student Government.
- We demand that Truman State University publicly condemn all acts of discrimination on campus and in the Kirksville community in a timely fashion.
- We demand an actionable plan from the administration to address racism at the University. Any plan should take this list of demands into consideration and must be supplemented by a standing action committee. If students are expected to serve on this committee, they should be compensated.
- We demand that the Office of Admissions and Center for Academic Excellence develop a transparent plan to better welcome and retain Black students.
- We demand that Residence Life develop initiatives to better recruit and retain Black student advisors.
- We demand that National Pan-Hellenic Council be included in all Greek Life activities moving forward.
- We demand transparency in investigations of faculty, staff, and administration reported for racist practices to the extent of the law. We demand a streamlined reporting process for bias incidents.
- We demand that Sociological Inquiry (SOAN 190) be a graduation requirement for all Truman students.
- We demand that Truman State University fund a continued programming series of diverse speakers and events on campus. Further, we demand that the Truman State University website better showcase cultural and identity based organizations.
- We demand an increase in funding to the Center for Diversity and Inclusion. We demand transparency in the University’s budget breakdown. This breakdown should be regularly published.
- We demand the formation of a committee to establish a Black Cultural Center in the next two to three years.
- We demand real time updates on the progress of the Inclusive Excellence Plan. We ask that all relevant administrators present regular updates to the Truman State University community at large.
- We demand that Truman State University establish the Minority Ambassadors Program as an official component of University operations.
- We demand that all administration, faculty and staff complete regular anti-bias and anti-racist training as a condition of employment.
- We demand that the Department of Public Safety be routinely audited to observe any demographic trends in arrest rates.These findings should be published.
- We demand that President Sue Thomas initiate a dialogue with faculty, students, and community members to reenvision the role of the Department of Public Safety on campus. This dialogue should include but is not limited to the following: use of force policies, police presence on campus, de-escalation training, funding, and implicit bias training.
The petition states ABC created a list of demands in 1971, which was published by The Index. This list called for more scholarships for Black students, as well as a Black counselor and advisor and an end to Black academic oppression, among other demands.
“We have demonstrated, sat-in, sat down, sat around, prayed, sung and begged,” the April 1971 article published by The Index stated. “We are tired.”
The petition states that many of the original demands have not been met 49 years later. Truman has ignored the interests of Black students and actively contributes to the systemic racism which disproportionately impacts Black people today, the petition explains.
This article will be updated as more information becomes available.