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Students at elite college strike over social justice demands

(Photo: Swarthmore Phoenix) Student activists at Swarthmore College in Pennsylvania staged a strike last week, refusing to take part in class until a list of demands was met.

Matthew Miller The Post Millennial
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Student activists at Swarthmore College in Pennsylvania staged a strike last week, refusing to take part in class until a list of demands was met by school administrators. These demands are listed in a student-run paper called "Voices."

The student strikers' demands include: that the school credit and financially compensate the students participating in the strike, that black faculty are "properly credited and compensated in times of injustice and unrest," and that the school "fully fund workshops on cultural competency and intersectionality that are mandatory," among several others, according to the letter.

They also demand that "all academic expectations are significantly modified to meet the needs of the most marginalized students."

The strike is being carried out by the Black Affinity Coalition and the Swarthmore Strike Coalition, according to the Swarthmore Phoenix. The two groups published a letter to the schools faculty in Swarthmore Voices outlining their exhaustive list of demands.

The letter begins by acknowledging that the school operates on stolen native land.

"We would like to first acknowledge that Swarthmore College resides and operates on stolen land from the Lenni Lenape," it reads.

"We also bear witness to Swarthmore College's longstanding history of racism, violence and continual oppression of Indigenous people," it continues.

The letter claims that the shift to remote schooling due to COVID-19 shutdowns has in fact "amplified the impact of institutional anti-blackness at Swarthmore College."

The average cost of attending Swarthmore College is over $70,000, according to CollegeSimply.com.

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