The Ten Demands

The occupying students of Ford Hall made a list of ten demands that they wanted the University to agree to before they ended their January 1969 occupation. The students first announced their demands at a news conference in the Ford Hall office of Lathan Johnson, black student advisor, shortly after the students had taken control of the building. At the news conference, spokesmen Ricardo Millet ’68, GRAD, Ridgewood Residence Counselor, and Roy DeBerry ’70, Brandeis Afro-American Society President, read a prepared statement along with the ten demands which they said were non-negotiable. The spokesmen also called for a guarantee of complete amnesty for all those involved in the protest.

At 5:00 p.m. that same evening, some of the occupying students held a meeting in Mailman Hall to announce the reasons for the take over. Phyllis Raynor ’69, a representative of the Afro-American Society, again presented the group’s demands to let the white students on campus decide among themselves what kind of support they wished to offer.

Below are the ten demands as they appeared in the January 14, 1969 issue of The Justice (vol. 21 no. 14 page 9).

The Ten Demands

My name is Roy DeBerry from the Brandeis Afro-American Organization, and first of all I want to say that the black students and also the group here is in sympathy with the striking students at San Francisco State and also we support the Timilty coalition in Boston. Let me add that all students, faculty, and staff and administrators involved in the action that we have taken should get complete amnesty. The essentials of all the demands is that they must be controlled by black people and in the interests of the black community at Brandeis. Demands are non-negotiable and must be answered in black and white and with the appropriate signatories. The demands are as follows:

  1. An African Studies Department with the power to hire and fire. This means that the committee must have an independent budget of its own.

  2. Year-round recruitment of black students by black students and headed by a black director. The number of students in the TYP Program should be doubled next year and the administration should support and actively campaign for the necessary funds.

  3. There must be black directors for the Upward Bound and TYP Program.

  4. Immediate action on the part of the administration to have black professors added to the various departments.

  5. The establishment of an Afro-American center designed by black students.

  6. Written clarification of the position of TYP students within the University structure encompassing the areas of financial aid, admission to Brandeis, criteria for satisfactory work.

  7. Expulsion of a white student who shot a black student before the Christmas holiday.

  8. The brochure (for black student recruitment) must be accepted in its present form or only with changes accepted by black students. The brochure must be published immediately.

  9. Intensify the recruitment of African students in the Wien program.

  10. Ten Martin Luther King automatic full scholarships for on and off campus black students. This should include transportation from the TYP Program on up to graduation from the University.