A group of black students at Oklahoma State University has created a list of demands to revise the school’s code of conduct rules in order to punish students or faculty who are “racially insensitive.”
The group calls themselves “The Four Percent” because black students make up four percent of the student population at Oklahoma State. The group stated on Twitter it hopes to “eventually represent every Black student who makes up the four percent (and hopefully marginalized students outside this percentage as well).”
Their demand letter calls for the establishment of a bias response team to impose some sort of sanctions on any questionable racially insensitive language.
“We submit that the university make an amendment to the student code of conduct’s social justice legislation section to add language that will make ‘racially insensitive and/or racist rhetoric and behavior made public knowledge’ a punishable action,” the group’s public demand letter states.
In a statement to The College Fix, Burns Hargis, president of Oklahoma State, wrote that the institution is still working on making the campus more inclusive but stopped short of saying campus leaders will enact any of the demands.
“We understand The Four Percent group’s concerns and appreciate its input. We also want to create the best university possible. Through our vice president of diversity division and a host of other programs and efforts, OSU has made significant strides in being more diverse and inclusive. We have received numerous national awards for our extensive work. But there is still more to do,” Hargis stated.
“We will review the ideas presented by the students as we continue to look for ways to improve. We remain committed to working with all Oklahoma State students to create a culture and environment that are welcoming to all and a model for others,” he added.
As for The Four Percent, the group wrote that the current section committed to diversity in the 2017 Oklahoma State Student Code of Conduct should do more to improve race relations.
In their letter, the group expects OSU to “release a detailed outline of all events, budgets/financial plans, programs, initiatives, meeting minutes, meeting dates, etc. (including dates and descriptions) held or planning to be held to improve the current state of diversity on campus to the public.”