Updates from Students in the Manor House
December 3, 2015
A group of Lewis & Clark students went to a rally PSU hosted to stand solidarity of recent events around the country.
December 2, 2015
9:30 AM Update
A group of Lewis & Clark students went to City Hall to present a letter to Mayor Charlie Hales and the City Commissioners asking that as the Freddie Gray trials begin, our leaders recognize that BlackLivesMatter by prioritizing the genuine safety of students of color.
November 24, 2015
3:56 PM Update
We've received word that professors and faculty are reaching out to us to express support and offer their help. Students working on the Buddy system are looking to incorporate faculty into their work and ensure safety for as much of the student body leaves during Thanksgiving break.
Tech crew has been spending the day coding to connect the Buddy System to Google Voice to ensure quicker response times. They've also been photographing and designing posters for our team, editing and updating the website, and developing an independent Respond LC website for managing Buddy requests. The separation between Respond LC and barryglassdoor.com will allow the latter to function as a news outlet, instead of being the sole hub for providing campus resources (though barryglassdoor.com will still link to the Buddy system and other services).
Sam Alexander has been working with the finance crew as well as looking into potential Title VI violations, in conjunction with David Ellis. Because this is a grassroots community organization, Sam and his group are working to ensure that we can fuel our work, fund our domain, institionalizing a Safe Ride program (as part of the Buddy program).
Carlton Bone has been in contact with Dean Kodat and set up a 5:30 PM meeting with her in Barry's office to informally discuss diversity in the hiring process at Lewis & Clark.
Maya Bon has been diligently compiling a list of around 70 texts that could be considered as part of a more diverse and engaging E&D curriculum.
Stay tuned for information about the meeting with Dean Kodat!
1:50 PM Update
At 12 PM, Dean Kodat entered David Ellis' office. David Ellis is the General Counsel for the College.
At 12:45 PM, Karissa Tom, Raymond Fenton, Restum Mohammed, and James Josephson delivered a statement to media introducing the LC Black Lives Matter Visions. Restum talked about his experience with feeling unsafe on campus and the need for a Buddy System. The group also discussed the Racial Justice and Equality fund, which is an effort to support campus racial justice and equality.
As word of the Occupation spread, we experienced a large influx of journalists. Unfortunately, the president's receptionist's space is so small that additional bodies in the room were distracting from LC Black Lives Matter's work. Some journalists responded to students' requests to leave with anger.
At 1:20 PM, Tanguy, the victim of Friday's attacks, delivered a speech in an overflowing Council Chambers. He reminded students that "we are all brothers and sisters... we are one" and to not "give hate a space in your heart."
11:53 AM Update
Barry Glassner arrived to the Manor House around 10 A.M. Upon his arrival, he found a core of students working in his receptionist's office and additional students and Alumni sitting throughout the Manor House.
From the bottom of the staircase leading up to his office, he delivered a speech reaffirming his commitment to "these issues." He stated that "we are making progress, but we have a long way to go" and that this initiative will only occur with "the commitment" that students and Manor House occupiers are showing.
The president then left the location. Dean Catherine Kodat chose to ascend the stairs and discuss the Visions with us. Though she engaged in dialogue, she did not agree to pull out her laptop and work with us.
Restum Mohammed asked Dean Kodat about Lewis & Clark's history of racialized oppression and administration inaction. After the attack on Friday, Restum referenced that he received solely one e-mail from administration and that he "honestly did not feel safe."
Sonja Nosisa asserted: "you have created a culture of fear... I am so hurt. We are taking account of administration feelings, collaborating, not screaming and crying. Why is our action not being reciprocated?"
Dean Kodat replied "this is not OK, this is why I'm here."
Check back for more updates.
10:15 AM UPDATE
We are writing this from our president, Barry Glassner's, office. We arrived at 9:30 AM and are waiting for him to join us as well. Good thing we have a team of 30 students helping him work on the values we have outlined on our website!
We would like to introduce you to our teams:
First, we have a group of radical techies working on keeping our website updated and in tip-top shape. They are crucial to our ability to inform the community about what's going on.
A second group of us is working on the Respond LC Buddy system. We believe the safety of our community is crucial to a productive learning environment and will be always available if anyone needs accompaniment.
Another group of ours is working on academic restructuring. Currently, they are outlining the possibilities for a required first year class that would focus on social justice and engagement.
Also, a group of students are focusing on fundraising efforts for a social justice fund. They are working on compiling contact information for donors interested in our cause.
We've also gotten word of a food team working in their rooms to provide the students of Black Lives Matter with nourishment to keep us working at full capacity!
Keep checking our website to receive regular updates on our students' work!
<3 LC Black Lives Matter
Dear Community 9:30 AM
In the last week, Lewis & Clark students have mobilized to protect each other from horrendous threats to Black lives and hate crimes on our campus. This work is not new for many. The organizational and emotional labor of Black students and students of Color on this campus goes ignored and underappreciated almost every day.
Specifically in the past days students have:
Created and implemented Respond LC (the Buddy System) to keep each other safe on this campus
Released statements to keep the community informed
Established safe spaces around campus for students to congregate
Attended meetings with faculty and deans to prioritize diversity on campus
Met at all hours of the day to develop new visions for a more just college
Today, just as every other day, LC Black Lives Matter is engaged in this work, yet we have decided that the president's work should be done in the president's office. We are currently occupying the Office of the President of the College in the Manor House to continue our work. We will attend classes, just as we do every other day, while we do this work.
THIS IS NOT A RALLY CRY. Right now, pain is what defines our community and love is what unites us. For those who seek solace in action, we have provided Stamm as a space for community (students, faculty, staff, etc.) to gather. This is not a space to make demands or protest. This is a space to heal together and engage in critical conversation.
LC Black Lives Matter will release our visions for the future as our work proceeds. We will be active on Twitter as @lc_blm and on barryglassdoor.com.
Love and Solidarity,
Lewis & Clark Black Lives Matter