The Collegian
Wednesday, April 14, 2021

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Members of UR community disaffiliate, suspend public operations

<p>Red paint was used to write "Black Lives Matter" on a sign next to the construction site of Ryland Hall between the night of March 22 and morning of March 23.</p>

Red paint was used to write "Black Lives Matter" on a sign next to the construction site of Ryland Hall between the night of March 22 and morning of March 23.

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:

  1. Alpha Kappa Psi
  2. Alpha Phi Omega
  3. Alpha Sigma Kappa
  4. American Marketing Association
  5. Anime Society
  6. Arab Club
  7. Art Club
  8. Asian American Student Union
  9. Association for Computing Machinery
  10. BARK Club
  11. Best Buddies
  12. Black Student Alliance
  13. Block Crew 
  14. Bollywood Jhatkas
  15. Bonner Scholars Program
  16. Cercle Français
  17. CHAARG
  18. Classics Club
  19. Club Quidditch
  20. Club Swimming
  21. Debate and Forensics Council
  22. Delta Delta Delta
  23. Delta Gamma
  24. Department of Theatre and Dance
  25. Girl UP* UR 
  26. GreenUR
  27. Hillel Student Board
  28. InQUEERies from the Margins
  29. Italian Language and Culture Club
  30. Jepson Student Government Association
  31. Kappa Alpha Theta
  32. Kappa Delta
  33. Kappa Kappa Gamma
  34. Korean American Student Association
  35. Knitting Club 
  36. Lambda Chi Alpha
  37. LGBTQ Alumni Committee
  38. LGBTQ+ Coalition
  39. Messenger
  40. Mock Trial
  41. Not So Slight: Combatting mAcroaggressions
  42. Octaves
  43. Office for Sustainability Interns
  44. Office of Common Ground
  45. Office of Multicultural Affairs
  46. Off the Cuff
  47. Omicron Delta Kappa Executive Board Members
  48. Osmosis Magazine
  49. Peer Sexual Misconduct Advisors
  50. Pi Beta Phi
  51. Phi Alpha Delta
  52. Planned Parenthood: Generation Action
  53. Psi Chi
  54. Richmond College Student Government Association
  55. Richmond Red Hotz
  56. Robins Diversity Coalition
  57. Robins School of Business Student Government Association
  58. Running Club
  59. Sankofa African Student Alliance
  60. Scholars Latino Initiative
  61. Second Hand News Radio
  62. SEEDS Project
  63. Senior Legacy Committee
  64. Shades of Pride
  65. Sirens a Capella
  66. Slavic Club
  67. Solidarity Organization for Latinx Students
  68. South Asian Student Alliance
  69. Spider Advertising of AAF
  70. SpiderBoard 
  71. SpiderNights
  72. Spidermonkeys
  73. Spiders Against Sexual Assault and Violence
  74. Spider Ventures
  75. SpinnURs
  76. Spiritual but Not Religious @ UR Leadership Team
  77. Student-Athlete Advisory Committee 
  78. Subject to Change Improv
  79. Synchronized Swimming Club
  80. University Dancers
  81. University Players
  82. UR College Democrats
  83. UR COVID-19 Student Service Corps
  84. UR Cultural Advisors 
  85. UR Outdoors Club
  86. Vagina Monologues
  87. WDCE 90.1 
  88. West Indian Lynk
  89. Westhampton College Class of 2023
  90. Westhampton College Government Association
  91. will
  92. Women's Club Rugby
  93. 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 meredith.moran@richmond.edu and editor-in-chief Morgan Howland at morgan.howland@richmond.edu.

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