Sit-in demands stalled, student leader says

Chijioke Emeka says admin have not moved on demands


RYAN PUGH | Daily Evergreen File

Chijioke Emeka speaks at a meeting with administration.

KATIE SHADLER, Evergreen reporter

Despite feeling hopeful after meeting with administration several times to address demands made at the sit in earlier this fall, WSU Black Student Union President and sit-in organizer Chijioke Emeka said the administration has since done nothing to address their issues.

“They haven’t done anything at all,” she wrote in an email. “Once again, they fed students promises and failed to produce tangible evidence of progress.”

In their meetings with the administration, she said, they outlined an extensive timeline for when each demand should be met, including benchmarks and check-ins to hold the administration accountable.

She said so far, none have been met and they were consistently given excuses such as, “I will email you by the end of the week,” and “I apologize for the slowness, we will get back to you.” This made her and the other student leaders of color confused as to why they met in the first place.

Phil Weiler, WSU vice president of marketing and communications, said they had been emailing back and forth about edits to a statement supporting the students of color and their allies that they had talked about in a previous meeting, however, he said the students have yet to respond to the latest edit. Emeka could not be reached for comment on this issue.

Weiler said they were in the process of finalizing groups made of faculty, staff and students to address these demands as well as other campus climate issues as a part of the “Drive to 25” initiative.

Events, such as the “Free Speech Rally,” which shortly followed the sit-in, questioned some of their demands, such as arguing that hate speech is free speech. Despite the controversy, Emeka said they stand by the demands they made.

“It is easy for things to get lost in translation,” she wrote. “However, our demands are clear and outlined in purpose and intent. We are never going to get 100 percent to agree, but at the end of the day, what we need is a safer more inclusive campus.”

Overall, she felt the administration was attempting to silence their voice, by scheduling opportunities for them to speak out, but not implementing any changes. Instead of more meetings, she said she wanted to see action from the administration.

“All the administration does is gather us up, allow us to vent about how upset we are and then leaves us to be upset,” she wrote. “What good does that do? None.”