OU Meets Several Demands Of Students, Sit-In Continues

Thursday, February 27th 2020, 10:49 pm
By: Clayton Cummins

The University of Oklahoma announced it will meet several demands made by students currently in the middle of a sit-in.

The announcement was made by the university's interim president Thursday evening.

The Black Emergency Response Team (BERT) began a sit-in inside Evans Hall Wednesday morning after a second faculty member allegedly used the n-word during class. This is the second incident in two weeks.

BERT is continuing its sit-in/hunger strike. Many students have been sleeping inside Evans Hall until all demands have been met.

As the university agreed to some demands, BERT members announced 6 additional demands but did not specify what they were.

"I think we need change here and I think there is certain steps that should be taken to enact those changes," said freshman Max Krogstad.

BERT met with university administration several times throughout the day Thursday.

The school is meeting several of the student groups demands by beginning mandatory equity training for staff, adding counseling services and plans to launch a multicultural center.

"I definitely like the idea of a multicultural center just because I feel the university does lack safe spaces for people of color," said OU student Arturo Alsonso.

A demand that has yet to be met, the resignation of university provost Kyle Harper.

In a statement, OU's interim president said he's confident in Harper's ability and willingness to advance the university.

"If someone is in a position of power and different incidents like this are happening, then it is their duty and responsibility to serve the students no matter what race, gender or ethnicity they are," said Alonso.

As day two comes to an end, one thing is clear. These students are in for the long haul.

"I think that is going to change something," said OU student Marie Pergouli. "I think that something will be better in the next few days or weeks."

It's unclear if talks with administration will continue Friday.

The Panhellenic Association at the University of Oklahoma has announced it's taking over the university's Think Tank inside the Union from 7 a.m. Friday to 2 a.m. Saturday or until authoritative action is taken.

The group is encouraging “as many people as possible to flood the phone lines and email inboxes of faculty and staff at Evans hall or other campus authority."