Students release 'Freedom Budget,' outline demands

by Taylor Malmsheimer | 2/23/14 9:28pm

Early Monday morning, a group of students released an eight-page document outlining over 70 specific proposals that aim to more equitably distribute power and resources on campus.

Demands outlined in the document, called “The Plan for Dartmouth’s Freedom Budget: Items for Transformative Justice at Dartmouth,” seek to eliminate systems of oppression, including racism, classism, sexism, heterosexism and ableism.

“We, the Concerned Asian, Black, Latin@, Native, Undocumented, Queer and Differently-Abled students at Dartmouth College, seek to eradicate systems of oppression as they affect marginalized communities on this campus,” the document begins.

The document was sent to 13 College administrators and was then released over the campus Listserv around 2 a.m.

The document’s reforms are listed in eight categories: undergraduate admissions, undergraduate curriculum, faculty and staff, financial aid, residential life, campus climate, advising and support and miscellaneous.

Proposals include increasing enrollment of black, Latino and Latina and Native American students to at least 10 percent each. Additional demands were for the College to make a multimillion dollar commitment to increasing the number of faculty and staff of color across departments.

It also asked that the College provide pro-bono legal assistance and financial assistance to undocumented students, expand gender-neutral housing and bathrooms on campus and ban the Indian mascot. To combat ableism, the document demands that residential life spaces on campus be accessible to all students, regardless of physical condition.

The document was inspired by Martin Luther King Jr.’s movement to produce a Freedom Budget during the civil rights movement.

The group of students demanded a point-by-point, public response from the administration to each of the demands by March 24.

“If the Dartmouth administration does not respond by the indicated time, those who believe in freedom will be forced to physical action,” the document states. “As mentioned before, this proposal is not about interpersonal interactions, but about restoring justice in an institution beset with a history of discriminatory and oppressive practices. This list of demands does not promise to end oppression; but with this list, Dartmouth College can begin to build itself anew.”

This article will be updated as more information becomes available.