After making a list of seven demands and threatening “physical action” if they were not met within one week, a black student organization at the University of Michigan will now have its most expensive wish — a $300,000 renovation of the campus multicultural center — granted by administrators.
And in response, a campus libertarian group has put forward its own demands — making the point that UM is hypocritical in its professed support for diversity.
Members of the Black Student Union met with campus administrators on Friday, and a deal was reached to renovate the Trotter Multicultural Center, according to The Michigan Daily.
BSU had previously complained that the center did not occupy a more central place on campus. It is instead a few blocks northwest of Central Campus.
The renovations will cost about $300,000. Details are still being worked out.
There has been no word yet on whether administrators will also capitulate to the other demands, which include requests for increased funding and modifications to UM’s curriculum that would force students to take more classes about race and ethnicity. (RELATED: Michigan black student union: ‘physical action’ if seven demands not met in one week)
BSU also made several demands — including tuition scholarships for racial minorities and increased minority enrollment — that might be unconstitutional. The Supreme Court heard oral arguments last spring on Schuette v. Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action By Any Means Necessary (BAMN) — a case related to UM’s affirmative action policies — and is expected to uphold the citizen-enacted ban on race-based admissions in public universities throughout the state of Michigan. (RELATED: Pro-affirmative action side mocked by conservative AND liberal Supremes)
Last week, on Martin Luther King Day, representatives of BSU threatened “physical action” if their demands were not met. What exactly was meant by this was left ambiguous.
When pressed, a BSU spokesperson eventually clarified that nothing violent was intended.
BSU maintains that minority students at UM are marginalized and that special policies must be implemented in response.
UM officials seemed to agree.
“Michigan has a proud history of fighting for social justice, including taking the fight to promote diversity all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court,” wrote UM Provost Martha Pollack in a recent email to campus. “We must honor that legacy and push ourselves to take the lead on issues of equity and diversity along all dimensions, setting the example for public institutions across the country.”