We are proposing a coalition of students of color that is created and led by POC students and supported by institutions among the Five College Consortium: Amherst College, UMass Amherst, Hampshire College, Smith College and Mount Holyoke College. While there are spaces in these institutions that provide resources and support for students of color, linking these existing groups together has the potential to act as a site of social change where the complex issues of institutional racism can be acknowledged, discussed, and acted upon. This coalition is intended to be a network of support between and for students, where they can share their experiences and resources and work to make comprehensive change that extends beyond their own campus.
The links of this coalition would create a framework for students to collaborate on individual issues of diversity on campus, such as the fact that there are the same number of black students at UMass and Amherst College (~600 of 20,000 vs 1,800 undergrads)*, and demanding institutional support for diversity initiatives at all the Five Colleges. Students of color could share experiences, grievances, and simply their stories. This coalition could address the multiple issues that affect students of color, from microaggressions to academic equity to funding. We envision a coalition that organizes for change as a whole and demands more support for students of color not only from their institutions but from the Five College Consortium as a whole.
This petition serves both to demonstrate support for a student coalition and to ask Five Colleges, Incorporated to collaborate on pooling resources and funding in order to foster this coalition for students who are systematically marginalized and disenfranchised. Similar systems are in place to support collaborative academic programs under Five Colleges, Incorporated, so we have identified them as the system most suited to support our demands. In the current proposal, the coalition will be exclusive to those who identify as people of color.
Please sign if you support this cause! We will submit our petitions (we are also doing on-site petitions in person, but time is limited), to the respective administrative offices at the end of the academic year.
Grassroots Community Organizing Vco started this petition with a single signature, and now has 90 supporters. Start a petition today to change something you care about.