Earlham College cancels classes Thursday as students demand action on campus diversity

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Photo courtesy Earlham College

RICHMOND, Ind. (Feb. 4, 2016) – Classes are canceled Thursday at Richmond’s Earlham College after a group of students expressed concerns about diversity on campus.

The students said Earlham doesn’t have enough racial diversity and issued a series of demands to Earlham administrators. They want at least 30 percent of the Earlham faculty and staff to be persons of color, according to Kicks 96. The students, who marched on campus Monday, said the “campus is unsuitable for students of color to thrive.”

The students circulated a list of ideas for the school to consider. A series of meetings were set for Thursday involving faculty, students and staff, according to the Palladium-Item. An all-campus meeting is scheduled to follow.

Brian Zimmerman, the director of media relations for the college, sent the following information about the situation:

“Conversations have already begun on campus to better understand these concerns so we can respond appropriately. In fact, we have cancelled classes and closed most administrative offices in order to facilitate a conversation involving all students, faculty and staff. We feel like it is important to listen and learn from each other.

“Earlham strives to be the most diverse and inclusive learning community possible, and we are nationally recognized for these efforts. However, we’re actively listening on how we can do better. Following today’s all-campus meeting, the College’s Diversity Progress Committee will regularly meet with this group of students to reconcile their concerns.”

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