STUDENTS DEMAND ACTION – THEN AND NOW

By
April 16, 2007

The following were both submitted by The Committee for Change

1997 2007
We, the students of Mills College, in our quest for a better education, seek to create an environment that encourages women’s rights as consumers and our ability to make institutional change by way of the following demands.

1) Improving the tenure process
 faculty of color, both U.S. and foreign-born
 incorporate student input/two voting student posts on tenure committee
2) Increase student of color population and retention
 actively recruit from public high schools in Oakland and the greater Bay Area
 recruit from Upward Bound at Mills College
 confront issues threatening retention of students of color
3) Increase recruitment and retention of diverse faculty and staff to include people of color, out gays/lesbians/bisexuals and differently-abled people
4) Create flexible, affordable and accessible infant and child day care
 services must include drop-in flexibility and year-round availability (modified over breaks and summer)
 student involvement and creation of work-study jobs
5) Create a contract coauthored by Mills students and Mills administration to be negotiated and signed each semester as a Student Bill of Rights
 provide explicit guidelines on what students will be provided each entire semester
 to include protection of financial aid and housing contracts for politically active students, protect students’ rights to criticize Mills College
 contract must be an amendable, up-to-date document
6) Address racist attitudes of administration towards women of color
 stop unfounded accusations of women of color for subversive acts
 do not assume BWC affiliation with political activities on campus
7) Improving accessibility and services for all students
 Mills campus must adhere to the Americans with Disabilities Act, providing access to buildings and the availability of full-time services for differently-abled students
 provide accessibility for students of color by eliminating institutional racism
 make campus accessible to those with limited economic resources by making financial aid/student accounts offices accountable for providing timely, accurate information in a respectful manner surrounding the individual’s student aid needs
8) Do not attempt to silence us
 completley eliminate censorship of speech and distribution of information by students in areas such as posting and stuffing regulations
9) Do not attempt to keep us in ignorance
 keep students informed and included in college-wide events and decisions
 make public and available all statistics, reports and information concerning the college
10) Guarantee a multicultural approach to all courses (required, elective, graduate and undergraduate)
 all classes must explicitly state their focus
 integrate all class material to include material produced by women and people of color
 professors must not ignore or be ignorant of issues relating to women and people of color in class discussion or discussed subject material

The following is a list of immediate needs, all of which have been presented to the administration on numerous occasions by the student body without satisfactory response or progress. We feel that these issues should no longer be “funneled up” through lackadaisical administrative channels and instead expect that direct action be taken by Mills, or we are prepared to take direct action against Mills.

Diversity Needs

1. More mandatory multicultural and sensitivity training for administration, faculty (tenured and non-tenured), staff, Public Safety and all incoming students (undergraduate, graduate and transfer); training must cover issues of race, gender, creed, sexuality, age, national origin, disability, nationality, socio-economic status and ethnicity. (2, 25)
2. Hiring: Vacant chaplain and diversity coordinator positions need to be permanently filled immediately; in addition to more faculty of color hired on tenure-track with the open math and science positions going to persons of color, specifically to Latinos or persons of African American, Native American descent, and disabled status. (26, 23, 31)
3. Campus Policy and Procedure on Discrimination: We need a revision of this document prior to the beginning of next semester, co-authored and supervised by the students. This policy needs to be incorporated into every faculty, staff and student orientation. It needs to be visible in all administrative offices and on the Internet. (1)
4. Accessibility: The entire campus, including all residential and academic buildings, sidewalks and equipment need to be ADA compliant. (11)

Student Needs

12, 15 (Family support systems) – 17, 18 (Student Dining issues) – 16 (work study for all students, both residential and commuting, more work study jobs and (non-federal) on campus) – 19 (Drama department reinstitution) – 24 – (28, 29) – 30 – 13 – 14

1. Family Care: Improvement of on-campus family support by providing available childcare until a minimum of 10 p.m as well as giving the new housing facilities to existing Underwood families first. This housing needs to be reserved for families, not graduate students. The creation of a new family care division as a separate entity from HMDS. (12, 15)
2. Dining Facilities: Improvement of dining options that will include extending Tea Shop hours, use of all meal plans at the Tea Shop, increasing the $3.75 snack swipe to $7 which is closer to the average price of a meal at Founders. The Tea Shop needs to be open until 12 a.m during the week and 2 a.m during weekends, at the minimum. (17,18)
3. Shuttle: Extend shuttle service on weekends (Friday and Saturday) until 2 a.m. and on weekdays until 12 a.m. More frequent service on the weekends, specifically every 30 minutes. Mandatory stops at the Tang Center. Mandatory emergency protocol installed into the Mills Van guidelines (accessible on the Internet). Return van driver position to student work-study position. (14)
4. Public Safety: Public Safety needs to have mandatory training dealing with issues of sensitivity and professionalism based on guidelines created by the student body. There needs to be a system put in place in which complaints are ranked in order of severity. Student calls should be addressed in the order outlined in the guidelines. We want a Public Safety station located at the back gate, and we want back gate keys. It is not the job of the college to designate where its students may enter and exit.(28, 29)

Issues of Direct Student Involvement/Admin Account

1. Proper access to and visibility of all documentation regarding administrative decisions, including: minutes, financial report of all cash flows of the college, time date and location of all adminstration meetings, reinstatement of a paid Ombudsman elected and supervised by the student body. (3-7)
2. The immediate creation of a student evaluation of administration that will be compiled and published by the college every year. Students should have equal representation (one to one ratio to administration) in the interviewing, hiring and evaluation of faculty and staff. Decisions concerning infrastructural change can only be made while the majority of the students are on campus. (8-10)
3. Undergraduate tuition needs to be allocated solely toward undergraduate costs (20)
4. Alumna Web site needs to be reattached to the Mills website with contact e-mail (22)
5. Make a concerted effort to be neighbors to the Oakland community. We need to implement outreach programs. (27)

According to the Mills Honor Code, Mills is flagrantly non-compliant with its own ideals as presented in the Honor Code and Mission Statement. As a collective unified student body, we will no longer stand by as accomplices to such hypocrisy. As paying members of the Mills community, we will be the change we want to see.


STUDENTS DEMAND ACTION – THEN AND NOW was published on April 16, 2007 in Opinions

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