December 22, 2016
Students at the University of Maryland have released a list of 64 demands in their effort make the campus more amenable to “marginalized student populations.”
The project, known as ProtectUMD, is a collaborative effort between 25 student organizations at the University of Maryland, including Students for Justice in Palestine, Bisexuals at Maryland, and the Black Student Union.
There are 64 demands across 8 subsets of students—Marginalized, American Indian, Black, Latinx, LGBTQIA+, Muslim, Pro-Palestine, and Undocumented—including scholarships for “students of marginalized communities,” a ban on Columbus Day, beginning every on-campus event with an acknowledgement that “this is Indigenous Land,” that African American professors get tenure, that preferred pronouns are included on rosters, and that “queer diversity training” is required.
Muslim students also want “one room in each major building designated for prayer” and “shuttle services to [the local mosque] for Muslim students to have access to a place of worship.”
Among the Pro-Palestine demands, students want the administration to condemn the “conflation of Pro-Palestinian activism with Anti-Semitism,” claiming that “Pro-Palestinians do not reject the human rights of any group of people.”
No Jewish student organizations have signed onto the list.
Demand #53 calls for the university to actively encourage students to learn about the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions Movement (BDS).
The Pro-Palestine demands are incompatible with the beliefs of the Jewish student organizations on campus, leading the student groups Terps for Israel, the Jewish Student Union, and J Street U to abstain from the project.
Students for Justice in Palestine declined to answer questions from Campus Reform, as did every other organization that was contacted.
“I think [these demands] are ridiculously easy [to accomplish],” said Muslim Student Association member Khaled Nurhssien told The Diamondback.
“We commend the students for their passionate advocacy and for coming together in solidarity on these issues,” a university spokesperson told Campus Reform. “President Loh has convened a group of his staff to thoroughly review the list of demands and make recommendations accordingly. That process is well underway.”
The UMD spokesperson declined to answer further questions.
This article was posted: Thursday, December 22, 2016 at 7:43 am