VIDEO: CMCers of Color Lead Protest of Dean of Students, Administration
Video shot by Wes Edwards '18 for The CMC Forum Highlights: 08:01 – Devon MacIver, Assistant Dean of Students/Director of Student Activities, speaks 08:40 – Mary Spellman, Assistant Vice President and Dean of Students, speaks first time 17:50 – President Hiram Chodosh speaks 39:10 – Will Su, ASCMC President, announces temporary space in lower floor of ASCMC offices 40:43 – CMC parent speaks 43:55 – Dean Spellman responds to calls for resignation 49:35 – Two students announce hunger strike until Dean Spellman’s resignation
At 2 p.m. this afternoon, a group of over a hundred students gathered around the Hub patio in a demonstration led by students in the CMCers of Color group. President Hiram Chodosh and staff from the Dean of Students office, including Dean of Students Mary Spellman and assistant deans Devon MacIver, Kristin Weyman, and others, attended the demonstration. Students of color directly addressed their concerns to the administrators.
Prior to the protest's start, CMC junior Taylor Lemmons '17 announced in a post on Medium that in protest of the lack of support she believes DOS has shown towards students of color and of other marginalized identities, she is undergoing a hunger strike until Dean Spellman resigns from her post. Additionally, Resident Assistant Milly Fotso '16, who works under Spellman in the Dean of Students office, called for Spellman's resignation in a public Facebook post following the protest. During the protest, Spellman said that she did not intend to resign.
In an email to students before the protest, President Chodosh committed the college to hiring two new positions — one under the umbrella of student affairs and one under the Dean of Faculty and academic affairs — to support diversity and inclusion on campus. With the support of these two new positions, Chodosh added, the College has "authorized the creation of a new programming space to support campus climate (identity, diversity, and free speech)" which "will be dedicated to collaborative, educational work by students, professional staff, and other experts on diversity, identity, civil rights, and free speech issues on our campus."
Regarding complaints against conduct by DOS, Chodosh wrote in his email: "I have asked Dean Huang to conduct a full review of the Dean of Students office and its capacity and performance in support of our students."
One of the primary demands that CMCers of Color, SAGA, APAM, BSA, and GenU articulated in their open letter (released earlier today) was the creation of a resource center on campus for students of marginalized identities. At the demonstration, President Chodosh publicly committed to providing a temporary space for a resource center in the interim period while the college works on establishing a permanent center.
ASCMC President Will Su '16 also announced at the protest that ASCMC has decided to devote their downstairs office space for marginalized students to use while the resource center is developed.
Above, find The Forum's video coverage of the discussions at the protest.
Correction, Nov. 12 at 1:40 a.m.: Please note that there was approximately 10 minutes of speaking time by the students organizing the event that we were not able to capture on video prior to the point our video begins. A past version of the article incorrectly described the video as covering the event in its entirety.