Concerned Students 2015 Email and Demands

From: Ford Hall <>
Date: Thu, Nov 19, 2015 at 1:33 PM
Subject: URGENT: Demands from Concerned Students 2015

Dear President Lynch,

“The university that carries the name of the justice who stood for the rights of individuals must be distinguished by academic excellence, by truth pursued wherever it may lead and by awareness of the power and responsibilities that come with knowledge.”

— Last paragraph of Brandeis University’s Mission

We, the concerned students of Brandeis University, take pride in being Brandeis students. We care deeply about the future and progress of this university and want this university to continue to attract and produce the world’s greatest and most critical minds. This is why we are dedicated to the needs of our fellow students and believe we must hold this beloved university to its mission.

As a University we have failed. We have failed our Black students. We have failed our Black professors. We have failed our Black staff members. We have failed our Black community. We, e as a university, must not continue to claim ignorance of  said failures. Black students across the nation are standing up against racial injustice on their campuses. We, as concerned students, need our university to stand with us and to work with us on addressing issues of injustice, as they unfold on our own campus. The only way for this institution to move forward is to address these failures directly. This is what we, as concerned student leaders of Brandeis University, have done.

Attached to this letter you will find a list of demands, which we feel will resolve a few of the most pressing issues Brandeis students, faculty, and administration face today. We write these demands as we reflect on the social justice values upon which Brandeis University was founded upon in 1948. This list is a call for action This is a call for Brandeis to acknowledge its failures and to correct them as soon as possible. You have twenty-four hours to devise and publicly issue a plan that will address the demands we have presented to you.

We are moving our people towards a liberation that has long been denied. This is a liberation that those of all races can understand. By uplifting one facet of our community that has been kept down or simply ignored, we uplift us all. Therefore, we ask that our brothers and sisters from all backgrounds stand with us, as Black students are granted the rights they have been denied for far too long at this institution.

"The proof that one truly believes is in action." - Bayard Rustin


List of Demands

presented to Brandeis University by Concerned Students 2015

  1. Increase the percentage of full-time Black faculty and staff to 10% across ALL departments and schools, while prioritizing the following:
    a. Anthropology, Heller, History, HSSP, Fine Arts, IBS, NEJS, Sciences, Sociology, and Theatre.
  2. Increase the number of tenure tracks for Black faculty across ALL departments and schools.
  3. Implement educational pedagogies and curriculums that increase racial awareness and inclusion within ALL departments and schools.
  4. Mandate yearly diversity and inclusion workshops for all faculty and staff with optional workshops being offered consistently throughout the academic year.
  5. Employ additional clinical staff of color within the Psychological Counseling Center in order to provide culturally relevant support to students of all backgrounds.
  6. Increase funding of Black student organizations and programs.
  7. Appoint a Vice President of Diversity and Inclusion.
  8. Increase the admittance of Black students via the general admission process to 15% within both undergraduate and graduate schools.
  9. Establish an Office of Ombuds within Academic Services.
    a. Ombuds is an intermediary administrative body appointed to receive and investigate complaints made by students against abuses or capricious acts of university officials, faculty, and staff.
  10. Increase minimum wage for all hourly paid university employees by 15%.
  11. Increase the number of professional development workshops specifically tailored for Black students.
  12. Issue a public apology to Khadijah Lynch from Senior Vice President Andrew Flagel.
  13. Brandeis’ current Interim President and the Brandeis Board of Trustees will fulfill these demands:
    a. Interim President Lisa Lynch will call an emergency meeting with the Brandeis Board of Trustees and will hold this meeting in the next 24 hours.
    b. The Board of Trustees will meet all of these demands and write these demands into the contract of the new Brandeis president-elect for the president-elect to sign.

All demands are to be met by the start of the Fall 2016 academic semester.