Following last academic year’s seemingly powerful Black Lives Matter protests, a group called Black Students for Revolution has now issued a 13-demand manifesto at the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign.
The protracted set of 13 demands — which, at 3,211 words, clocks in at over 220 percent of the length of the Declaration of Independence — charges that the taxpayer-funded school “acts an extension of a colonial system that profits from the exploitation of historically-looted communities.”
Students involved in Black Students for Revolution — motto: “preparing for the revolution” — say they “have a unique responsibility to confront this system.”
To that end, Black Students for Revolution is demanding that transgender students “be given priority for all university sponsored all-gendered housing options” “at a discounted rate.”
Transgender people “disproportionately experience poverty and homelessness due to transphobia and other intersecting oppressions,” alleges “DEMAND 6.” “Failure to take steps to ease the burden of expensive housing options for trans students would allow the continued marginalization of transgender and genderqueer students on UIUC’s campus,” Black Students for Revolution warns.
“DEMAND 3” insists on “severe penalties for all forms of sexual violence” for “all on-campus sexual predators, especially those affiliated with the Greek Life system.”
“Greek Life represents a particularly heinous arena of sexual misconduct. Fraternities have long existed as strongholds of male power, a power predicated on racial as well as gender-based violence,” Black Students for Revolution pontificates.
Black Students for Revolution does not specify whether this demand includes the seven black fraternities and sororities at currently active University of Illinois.
Other Black Students for Revolution demands include an immediate and eternal tuition freeze, an official census of student sexuality, a race- and gender-based salary system for school employees, a living wage for all employees ranging between $10.30 and $37.01 per hour, an admission system which ignores felony convictions and divestment from all institutional holdings related to the coal industry.
There’s also “DEMAND 4,” in which Black Students for Revolution call on the University of Illinois to promise and swear never to “combine the LGBT Resource Center and Women’s Resource Center.”
“DEMAND 2” insists that the student population at the University of Illinois must mirror “the racial and economic demographics of Illinois by 2032.” “Hispanic and Latinx students make up 8.1% of the campus, but they are 16.7% of the state,” the group observes for example — a situation that must change. “To ensure the expedient progress of such a vital task, we demand that an action plan addressing this demand be issued by the administration by no later than February 1st, 2017.”
And in “DEMAND 9,” Black Students for Revolution decree that all University of Illinois employees must “have access to at least six months of paid parental leave following the birth or adoption of a child.” “Increasing the length of paid parental leave is but one concrete step on the way to transforming our nation’s patriarchal, capitalist culture,” the group explains.
Black Students for Revolution notes that the 13 demands — and 3,211 words — are not “comprehensive” but they do “represent a collective student voice, speaking out against violence, oppression, and institutional inaction.” A “larger, international student movement” — of which Black Students for Revolution humbly claims to be but a small part — “will radically transform this University and higher education throughout the United States and the world.”
Two dozen University of Illinois student clubs and other groups have signed onto the Black Students for Revolution manifesto including Women of Pride, the Arab Student Association and, of course, Black Lives Matter.
A “Demands for a Transformed University” rally is planned for Wednesday. According to the Black Students for Revolution Facebook page, 64 people plan to attend the campus event.
In a statement, the University of Illinois told Campus Reform that Black Students for Revolution has failed to contact school officials. However, the administration is “always ready to meet with students to let them know what we’re doing now and to look for ways to do even more together.”
The University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign is most notable, of course, for having a bona fide American terrorist on its faculty.
The taxpayer-funded school employs James Kilgore, a felon and a former member of the infamous Symbionese Liberation Army, as a research scholar at its Center for African Studies. Previously, Kilgore was an adjunct instructor of global studies and urban planning.
The Symbionese Liberation Army was the notorious terrorist organization that kidnapped newspaper heiress Patty Hearst. The group also attempted two bank robberies.
Kilgore personally participated in a 1975 bank robbery during which bank customer Myrna Opsahl was murdered.
Opsahl, a 42-year-old mother of four, bled to death on the floor of the bank.
In 2015, Illinois became the only state in America where a lawmaker felt the need to introduce a bill that would prevent anyone who has been convicted of terrorism-related crimes from teaching courses at taxpayer-funded colleges and universities.