Columbia University Concerned Students of Color Protest

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CUCSC Silent protest on the Steps
Rally on Thursday Feb 26, 2004

The Columbia University Concerned Students of Color Protest of Spring 2004 was a week long protest prompted by a series of "racist incidents" on campus during the 2003-2004 academic year. The lasting accomplishment of the protests was the establishment of an Office of Multicultural Affairs.

Contents

Background

First came the Fall 2003 Orgo Night script and promotional flyers that were allegedly sexist and made fun of ethnic studies. Then in February came the Affirmative Action Bake Sale incident. On the same day that BSO students were presenting their concerns to the administration, The Fed published the Blacky Fun Whitey cartoon. And naturally what happens? The only thing Columbia students know how to do: students form a coalition (Columbia University Concerned Students of Color) and hold protests!

The protest

Silent demonstration on Low Steps on Monday February 23 through Wednesday February 25. Hundreds of students dress in black and wear signs that say "I am being silenced." No one dares to point out the obvious- that it's a silent protest and therefore they're silencing themselves...

Thursday February 26, speak out rally on the steps.

CUCSC Demands

  1. Changes to the Core Curriculum
  2. University-sponsored anti-oppression training
  3. Disciplinary actions and policies "to prevent and handle transgressions against marginalized student populations"
  4. Special interest housing that pertains to culture should be changed to on-campus cultural housing
  5. Changes to the location and structure of the Inter-cultural Resource Center and Inter-cultural House
  6. The establishment of a position for the Vice Provost of Multicultural Affairs
  7. The creation of an Office of Multicultural Affairs
  8. Expansion and increased support for the Center for the Study of Ethnicity and Race
  9. The creation of a Committee on Diversity

Aftermath

Columbia established yet another bureaucratic office, the Office of Multicutural Affairs. Student leaders who called for its creation are later shocked to find out that it's just another bureaucratic office, not some miracle panacea.

Feeling dissatisfied and prompted by new incidents in 2006, students formed SHOCC, which carries on some of CUCSC's work.

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