A 2014 graduate of the University of Kansas commenced a hunger strike on Friday over diversity issues. He vowed not to eat until the administration capitulates to a list of 15 demands from a radical student group called Rock Chalk Invisible Hawk.
The demands include “mandatory, intense” racial re-education workshops for all students, the hiring of a multicultural affairs director and increased enrollment of illegal immigrants.
The hunger striker is John Cowan. He is white.
Cowan’s hunger strike comes in the wake of a diversity forum at the taxpayer-funded Big XII school on Wednesday — and in the wake of a similar hunger strike and passionate protests at the University of Missouri over a poop swastika and an alleged racial slur yelled by some off-campus bumpkins in a pickup truck. (RELATED: Liberal Activists Upset Paris Terrorist Attacks Are Getting Attention, Not Mizzou Protests)
Cowan, who boasts a scruffy goatee and an impressive mane of scraggly hair, said he is refusing to eat as a show of solidarity with Rock Chalk Invisible Hawk and at least one other KU activist group.
“It’s my way of showing what I’m calling ‘starvidarity’ with the Invisible Hawks and September Siblings,” he told the Lawrence Journal-World. “I like what they’re doing, and I’d like to see their demands met.”
The recent graduate — major unclear — vowed he would “die or go to the hospital” if various radical demands are not met.
Here is the full list of the 15 demands from Rock Chalk Invisible Hawk:
— Invisible Hawks (@InvisibleHawks) November 12, 2015
“I’m kind of at an advantage because of my white privilege, so my suffering is self-inflicted,” Cowan also told the Journal-World. “Others don’t have that choice. It’s inflicted upon them.”
He added that he wanted his hunger strike (which does not appear to include juice and coffee) to bring attention to racial bias and sexual violence problems.
The current hunger strike is not Cowan’s first attempt to play social justice warrior at KU. Last fall, police briefly arrested him for dressing up in a Guy Fawkes mask and interrupting two classes at the public school.
The demands by Rock Chalk Invisible Hawk also include a call for three members of the KU student government to resign their positions.
The KU student senate’s student executive committee voted 6-3 (with an abstention) on Friday night to support the call for the resignations by way of a motion of no-confidence.
On Saturday morning, the Journal-World reports, the three student leaders announced their refusal to step down. The trio did, however, apologize for taking too long to respond to the demands of Rock Chalk Invisible Hawk and affirmed their beliefs that “black lives matter.”
Wednesday’s diversity forum at KU was moderators by Bernadette Gray-Little, the chancellor, who is black. The forum attracted a crowd of about 1,000 students, professors, staffers and townies.
Representatives of Rock Chalk Invisible Hawk took to the stage and recited their protracted list of demands.
The Rock Chalk Invisible Hawk name recalls KU’s famous “Rock Chalk Jayhawk” mantra. KU graduate Cassie Osei created a #RockChalkInvisibleHawk in August 2014 in response to the police shooting death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo. (RELATED: Total Police Failure Brings Absolute Mayhem To Ferguson After Grand Jury Announcement)
Osei was a double major in history and Latin American and Caribbean studies who really wanted to spend a semester in Brazil.
Lawrence, Kan. is 278.4 miles from Ferguson, Mo.