The Senior Legacy Campaign Committee disaffiliated on March 25 in solidarity with the demands released by the University of Richmond Black Student Coalition in Protect Our Web: A Statement on Black Student Welfare.
All operations of the 2021 Senior Legacy Campaign, which provides an avenue for seniors to donate to UR, will be frozen until UR administration and the Board of Trustees release a plan to meet all three demands outlined in the Black Student Coalition's statement, according to an email sent to the UR community by the committee on March 25.
"As a fundraising committee, we cannot continue to operate in accordance with our values as we stand in support of the coalition," the committee members wrote in the email.
Senior Rider Tuff, a member of the committee, said the group of nine was in unanimous agreement to disaffiliate during a meeting on the night of Wednesday, March 24.
“The group, while under the umbrella of the university, is mostly about the senior class coming together to give back after reflecting on their time at Richmond,” he said. “We thought it was a little bit insensitive to be asking members of the student body to be giving back to the university when there are still a lot of outstanding issues that the university and Board of Trustees have not addressed.”
Donations made after March 25 will no longer be counted toward the overall tally, he said.
According to the campaign's website, 4% of the class of 2021 had donated as of March 17. The goal for the campaign is to have at least 50% of the class of 2021 make a gift before they graduate, according to the website.
Senior Ana Paula Alvarado, another member of the committee, said it would have been tone-deaf to proceed as normal with collecting donations from the senior class.
“It is a very big stance for us to say we are not going to do this and not raise funds,” she said. “We are not going to keep working under the university and promoting how cool this university is if the Board of Trustees won’t hear us.”
Alvarado said freezing operations would raise questions about why the class of 2021 would choose not to donate to UR after their four years.
Senior Anna Cheng, a member of the committee, said the choice to disaffiliate was not a difficult decision to make.
Alvarado said she hoped the funds raised by the committee could be used to support the Black Student Coalition's demands financially. For example, every senior could donate $1 to mental health resources for Black students as the statement mentioned, she said.
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Tuff said that there are outstanding issues that UR and the Board of Trustees have yet to address.
“Hopefully the Board of Trustees will meet all the demands from the coalition, and we can proceed and come together as a senior class,” Tuff said. “That’s our hope."
Contact news co-editor Ryan Hudgins at firstname.lastname@example.org
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