Editor's Note: This is a developing story, and includes updated information about disaffiliated organizations as of 4:00 p.m. on March 30. Morgan Howland is a student employee at the Center for Student Involvement, and was not involved in reporting about CSI's statement.
Members of the University of Richmond community disaffiliated from campus organizations on March 25 in solidarity with the UR Black Student Coalition, which called for students, faculty and staff in public-facing, extracurricular organizations to step down from their roles in a March 4 statement, Protect Our Web: A Statement on Black Student Welfare.
Disaffiliation is defined by the Black Student Coalition statement as “ceasing involvement with any university task forces, student organizations, and fundraising” with the goal of disaffiliation being to “cease all uncompensated, extracurricular, public-facing work and programming (public programming being defined as any meeting, activity, or event open to students, faculty, or staff) which UR is in turn able to publicize and profit off of."
The Black Student Coalition originally called for Black seniors and other seniors wishing to act in solidarity to disaffiliate from campus organizations on April 1 if the demands were not met, and for other undergraduate students to disaffiliate on April 15, according to the statement.
Following the Board of Trustee's announcement on March 17 stating that Mitchell-Freeman and Ryland halls would not be renamed to remove Freeman and Ryland's names from the buildings -- the first of the statement's three demands -- the Black Student Coalition moved the date of disaffiliation up to March 25.
The following UR organizations posted messages about organization-specific disaffiliation plans, or posted letters of support for the Black Student Coalition on Instagram:
- Alpha Kappa Psi
- Alpha Phi Omega
- Alpha Sigma Kappa
- American Marketing Association
- Anime Society
- Arab Club
- Art Club
- Asian American Student Union
- Association for Computing Machinery
- BARK Club
- Best Buddies
- Black Student Alliance
- Block Crew
- Bollywood Jhatkas
- Bonner Scholars Program
- Cercle Français
- Classics Club
- Club Quidditch
- Club Swimming
- Debate and Forensics Council
- Delta Delta Delta
- Delta Gamma
- Department of Theatre and Dance
- Girl UP* UR
- Hillel Student Board
- InQUEERies from the Margins
- Italian Language and Culture Club
- Jepson Student Government Association
- Kappa Alpha Theta
- Kappa Delta
- Kappa Kappa Gamma
- Korean American Student Association
- Knitting Club
- Lambda Chi Alpha
- LGBTQ Alumni Committee
- LGBTQ+ Coalition
- Mock Trial
- Not So Slight: Combatting mAcroaggressions
- Office for Sustainability Interns
- Office of Common Ground
- Office of Multicultural Affairs
- Off the Cuff
- Omicron Delta Kappa Executive Board Members
- Osmosis Magazine
- Peer Sexual Misconduct Advisors
- Pi Beta Phi
- Phi Alpha Delta
- Planned Parenthood: Generation Action
- Psi Chi
- Richmond College Student Government Association
- Richmond Red Hotz
- Robins Diversity Coalition
- Robins School of Business Student Government Association
- Running Club
- Sankofa African Student Alliance
- Scholars Latino Initiative
- Second Hand News Radio
- SEEDS Project
- Senior Legacy Committee
- Shades of Pride
- Sirens a Capella
- Slavic Club
- Solidarity Organization for Latinx Students
- South Asian Student Alliance
- Spider Advertising of AAF
- Spiders Against Sexual Assault and Violence
- Spider Ventures
- Spiritual but Not Religious @ UR Leadership Team
- Student-Athlete Advisory Committee
- Subject to Change Improv
- Synchronized Swimming Club
- University Dancers
- University Players
- UR College Democrats
- UR COVID-19 Student Service Corps
- UR Cultural Advisors
- UR Outdoors Club
- Vagina Monologues
- WDCE 90.1
- West Indian Lynk
- Westhampton College Class of 2023
- Westhampton College Government Association
- Women's Club Rugby
- Women's Club Volleyball
Additionally, the Oliver Hill Chapter of the Black Law Student Association created a petition to UR signed by T.C. Williams School of Law students, faculty and staff in support of the Black Student Coalition demands, according to an Instagram post. The UR Student Bar Association posted in support of BLSA's petition on Instagram.
On March 28, the UR Counseling and Psychological Services Outreach interns posted a letter of support for the Black Student Coalition on Instagram. The CAPS Outreach interns are working to assist the Black Student Coalition to achieve a more equitable campus experience while continuing to provide resources for all UR students, according to the post.
The Center for Student Involvement staff sent an email to recognized student organization leaders on March 24 regarding disaffiliation in support of the Black Student Coalition.
The CSI staff supports each student organization's decision, whether that means disaffiliating or not, and encourage organizations to allow each member to make the decision on their own, according to the email. If an organization makes the decision to collectively disaffiliate, CSI requests that it communicates to CSI what disaffiliation means to the specific organization and submit a formal disaffiliation form.
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A recognized organization's decision to disaffiliate will not affect its budget or recognition status, according to the email from CSI.
The CSI staff restated that each member and organization should make the decision for themselves and not feel pressured to disaffiliate.
The statement concluded, "The Center for Student Involvement is, and will continue to support our students and all student organizations. The entire staff is available to assist by listening to leaders and members, helping to facilitate discussions/conversations and/or clarifying questions or concerns for your organization."
Valentina Zuluaga, a junior and president of UR College Democrats, said members of the organization met throughout the week to discuss disaffiliation.
"We decided that it would ultimately be best to disaffiliate temporarily until the demands are met because we want to show solidarity for the Black Student Coalition, and we believe it is necessary to put pressure on the board and to show the board that this is something a lot of clubs and a lot of students are willing to do in order to get the names changed," she said. "It is not just a small group of individuals."
Zuluaga said members of URCD felt positively about disaffiliation, but had to decide what disaffiliation would mean for the organization.
Club members will communicate privately and stay up to date about the disaffiliation movement, Zuluaga said, but URCD will not hold general body meetings or sponsor events until the demands are met.
Senior Kayla Corbin spoke to The Collegian on behalf of the Black Student Coalition on March 25. Seeing organizations disaffiliate in solidarity with the Black Student Coalition has been great and she hopes the movement can sustain its momentum, she said.
"I feel like we long felt like a lot of the labor has been put on Black students to push and advocate for their own needs, and it's refreshing to see the campus community coming together to help and advocate on each other's behalf and improve the university as a whole," Corbin said. "I'm hoping that people are committed to keeping this going, but we are in good hopes and it really does put us in good spirits to see the rest of the campus community rally with us."
Contact managing editor Meredith Moran at firstname.lastname@example.org and editor-in-chief Morgan Howland at email@example.com.
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