U. Vermont Students Demand Administrators Resign Over Failure to Meet Diversity Demands

University of Vermont
University of Vermont / Wikimedia Commons
February 21, 2018

​University of Vermont​ students and Black Lives Matter activists are demanding top administrators resign over the college's failure to meet student demands for diversity initiatives, including the installation of BLM flags on campus.

Occupying the main administrative building Tuesday, some 200 students loosely organized under a group called NoNames for Justice chanted for the UVM president, provost, and vice provost for student affairs to step down for failing to be adequate allies for students of color.

Students were encouraged to "bring pans, instruments, anything that makes noise" and disrupt administrative work during the "Done with the Bullsh*t Rally."

NoNames is also demanding the permanent flying of multiple BLM flags on campus, including one at UVM Police headquarters, and for the Board of Trustees to officially endorse the BLM platform.

This builds on the group's previous list of demands, which sought university-wide diversity training and further training specifically for Greek life participants; an increase in LGBTQA staff and faculty of color; "renovation" of diversity courses; increased funding for "identity centers" and minority clubs; and the renaming of two campus buildings linked to a UVM professor who championed eugenics research in the 1930s.

NoNames announced their original platform by storming the UVM president's office last fall.

Tuesday's rally came after UVM staffer John Mejia began a hunger strike Friday to push administrators to comply with the NoNames ultimatum.

Mejia has said he is "willing to die" if the students' demands are not met.

David Daigle, chairman of the Board of Trustees, has expressed his "unwavering support" for the UVM officials, and defended their record on promoting diversity and inclusion on campus, while administrators have said they support student activism and offered medical assistance to Meija. (Meija claimedTuesday that he had yet to be contacted by UVM, according to local reports.).

This week's increased NoNames action followed the appearance of posters reading "White Privileged And Proud of It" and "Innocent Lives Matter Not Guilty Ones" in the Mosiac Center for Students of Color last week.

The university condemned the posters, but said it was unknown who was behind the incident.

NoNames dismissed the response as "bullsh*t."