After a week of marching on and around Loyola’s Lake Shore Campus in solidarity with Black Lives Matter, student protestors released a list of seven demands for the university Aug. 28.
The demands include cutting ties with the Chicago Police Department, better funding for Black student organizations on campus, hiring more Black faculty members, a public forum with Loyola President Jo Ann Rooney, a public statement from Loyola, formally recognizing Black History Month and following other recommendations made by Black students.
Over the past week days, students have protested the university’s response to Black Lives Matter by walking through the streets surrounding campus with signs and chants and decorating the campus sidewalks with chalk messages.
On the eighth day — Aug. 28 — a group of about 50 people gathered outside Loyola’s Information Commons to listen to student organizers speak.
Dorien Perry-Tillmon, a sophomore film and digital media major who’s been spearheading the student movement, first spoke to the crowd about the university’s statement in response to the days of protesting that was emailed to the Loyola community moments before the students gathered.
“This email is very, very late,” Perry-Tillmon, 19, said to the crowd. “And with everything that’s continuing to go on now, there’s just not enough content in this email.”
Perry-Tillmon then went on to announce the set of demands published by Our Streets LUC — the main organizational structure behind the protests.
“I feel like we’re doing them a huge favor right now,” Perry-Tillmon said to the crowd. “We are literally bringing all these points to them. We are literally handing them a document of what would make us happy.”
Connor Karwowski, a sophomore philosophy and music major who attended the gathering, said he was surprised about some of the things on the list because he didn’t realize Loyola wasn’t implementing them in the first place, such as the lack of recognition for Black History Month.
“I also thought about when [Perry-Tillmon] said that he had his first Black professor this year, I realized that not only have I had no Black professors, I’ve only actually had white professors my entire time here,” Karwowski, 19, said.
Trey Johnson, another 19-year-old sophomore in the crowd, said he was “happy” about the list of demands, but said “it’s really kind of disappointing Loyola for taking so long to get on top of this.”
Vice President for Student Development Jane Neufeld and Assistant Vice President for Student Development and Dean of Students Will Rodriguez didn’t immediately respond to questions from The Phoenix as to how the university will respond to these demands.
News Editor Kayleigh Padar contributed to the reporting in this story.
A previous version of this story misspelled Vice President for Student Development Jane Neufeld’s name. We regret the error and have corrected it.