Dartmouth College administrators say they are taking steps to address concerns raised by student demands for what they call "transformative justice" at the Ivy League school.
A group of students last month sent administrators a "Freedom Budget" decrying racism, classism, sexism and other campus problems and making 70 demands, including increasing enrollment of black, Latino and Native American students to at least 10 percent each and making a multi-million commitment to increase hiring of faculty from minority groups.
"Departments that do not have 'womyn' or people of color will be considered in crisis and must take urgent and immediate action to right the injustice," wrote the students, who described themselves as "concerned Asian, Black, Latino, Native, Undocumented, Queer and Differently-abled students."
They also called for expanding gender-neutral housing and bathrooms on campus, improving the financial aid process for middle class students and training all staff and faculty to help undocumented immigrants plan their academic and professional futures.
In a response last week, administrators say they agree that diversity is a cornerstone of the Dartmouth community and they realize they must engage students more effectively in improvement efforts. They listed several specific plans, including spending $30 million on a program to bring diverse post-doctorates to campus, spending $1 million to hire faculty with "diverse perspectives" and expanding a program that supports under-represented students in science, technology, engineering and math fields. But administrators also said they need to focus resources on areas that will have the most impact given desire to keep the cost of attendance down.
"We hear your concerns about ensuring that Dartmouth is not only diverse in numbers, but also a place where all community members thrive," administrators wrote.
Copyright 2014 The Associated Press.