Twenty years later
On April 18, 1988, a group of UVM students entered the President's wing of the Waterman Building asking secretaries and policy-makers alike to vacate the area
Published: Monday, April 14, 2008
Updated: Saturday, March 14, 2009 17:03
That Saturday, The Burlington Free Press reported that President Coor had signed an agreement, after negotiating through the night, that complied with 17 of the students demands and yielding partially to four of the five remaining.
In short, the protest was a success. Kind of.
Though the administration today continues to attempt to recognize the requests of the Black Student Union and the Asian American Student Union of late, these needs are not always met. The number of students of color representing the percentage of people of color at large in the United States is one of these goals that has yet to be reached.
In the fall semester of this year, 841 of 12,239 (about 6.8 percent) students identified as of color. "Of the total number of multicultural students, 640 are undergraduate degree students; this compares to 612 multicultural undergraduates last fall, an increase of 4.6 percent," according to the Office of Institutional Studies Web site.
The Waterman Takeover is a reminder for many that an organized group of students can make change happen. In this instance, strikers worked to educate a campus to invoke change. They believed they were working not to advance themselves, but to advance the institution.
March 31, 1995 - ALANA students participated in a March 31 open forum recounting the pains of attending a predominately white UVM and demanded that the campus confront the racism they say is widespread here and in the Burlington community.
April 18, 1988 - Waterman Takeover Students occupy UVM administration building demanding commitment to a larger minority presence on campus.
April 24, 1991 - Davis announces force will not be used to end the occupation and he will not negotiate during the occupation.
May 12, 1991 - A pre-dawn raid by 56 police officers results in the arrest of eight students and one faculty member in Davis' office. Eleven more are arrested outside the Waterman Building.
April 22, 1991 - Second Waterman Takeover Twenty-two students take over President George Davis' office in the University of Vermont's Waterman Building and issue 18 demands for greater racial awareness and presence on campus. Hundreds of students gather in support.
May 9, 1991 - Davis says "the nature of the occupation" of his offices has changed and announces he can no longer rule out the use of force.
November 23, 1991 - Diversity University is burned by an arsonist. President Thomas Salmon declares that no more such structures will be built until a policy on "symbolic structures" is developed.
April 22, 1988 - Waterman Agreement Signed
March 3, 2006 - President Daniel Fogel appoints his President's Task Force on Racial Diversity which he will chair.
May 14, 1991- Four UVM shuttle buses destroyed by fire.
March 20, 1988 - Citing similar difficulties in dealing with the UVM administration, representatives and members of six UVM minority and women's rights groups have come together in an unprecedented coalition effort.
March 29, 1995 - Racially motivated death threats against five African-American female students investigated by UVM. The University failed to notify the FBI of the death threats.
May 10, 1991 - Student supporters of the protesters begin construction of Diversity University - a collection of tents and shanties the group says will be the site of alternative education courses to make up for UVM's lack of cultural diversity.
Information courtesy of www.uvmedu/%7Eculture/uvm/uvmoverview.html