Diversity Alliance formulates clear demands

Diversity Alliance members Kethan Srinivasan ’21 (left) and Quinn Luong ’22 at the- Youth for Black Lives March, August 2, 2020 – courtesy of Quinn Luong ’22

It has been a tumultuous couple of months for the Diversity Alliance, as we have been working with the administration and fellow student organizations to enact change within our school curricula, honor system, faculty, and community. 

     Here are our ten demands:

1. Plan more forums to talk about experiences, ideas, and goals

We need all members of the community to dive into the discomfort and reflect on interpersonal racism through hearing stories and community perspectives. Through forums and reflections, we can bridge the gap between the racial divide of hatred, bigotry, and racism.

2. Require faculty to attend SEED sessions or diversity training     

Faculty need to take part in diversity training to guarantee that they will commit to making their classrooms a safe and equitable space. One that will help in elevating student voice, closing the opportunity gap, and providing equal access to opportunities.

3. Reshape history and English curricula

     Our history and English courses need to stop catering to white students and a whitewashed curriculum. We are only taught about marginalized history when it is about the oppression we face. Our courses need to educate us on Africans before slavery, Middle Easterners before war, Asians in America, LGBTQ+ experiences, not on the perpetuating “single stories” that have been ingrained in our brains for generations.

4. Establish new guidelines in the Honor Code

     Our administration needs to implement and enforce a zero-tolerance policy for racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, ableism, xenophobia, religious intolerance, and any form of discrimination in the Honor Code. We demand that there is strict disciplinary action against students and faculty who partake in discriminatory behavior as well as support to victims of discriminatory incidents.

5. Grant full power to the Diversity Liaison

     The responsibilities and presence of a Diversity Liaison are more than necessary now. Few BIPOC are represented on the Honor Council, which is detrimental and fails to seek justice for victims of discriminatory incidents. Diversity Liaisons and Diversity Alliance leaders should absolutely witness hearings and hold the same jurisdiction of power as other Honor Council members.

6. Collect data on discriminatory incidents on campus

     The Haverford School needs to provide legally-admissible aggregate data, detailed reports of Honor Council hearings, and previous disciplinary decisions on discriminatory or prejudiced behaviors or the use of derogatory slurs.

7. Implement requirements in ethnic, gender, and sexuality studies

     Juniors and seniors should be required to take at least one U.S. History and one English course that focuses on the histories and writings of marginalized people. We demand that each department chair commits to restructuring their curricula to make space for more diverse voices, histories, and narratives.

8. Hire and retain more faculty of color

     More faculty of color should be hired in all departments. If we want to reflect the diversity of our student body, The Haverford School must also ensure faculty of color are represented in positions of leadership in addition to being members of the academic community. We demand that each department chair commits to hiring more faculty of color.

9. Allocate More Funding for Diversity Alliance

     The Haverford School should provide the Diversity Alliance the same amount of funding as any other club or organization. We demand that more students should be able to attend SDLC and other conferences. We need funding to ensure we can organize our diversity conferences and attendance.

10. Establish an Oversight Committee

     We demand that the leadership of Diversity Alliance is recognized to be just as important as other student organizations. We need to ensure that the Diversity Alliance oversees assemblies, speakers, and Honor Council hearings and collaborates with other student organizations. We demand that the administration and faculty must be willing to work with the Diversity Alliance to change curricula and dismantle institutional racism.

Author: Quinn Luong '22

Quinn Luong has contributed to The Index since 2019. He currently serves as News Editor, and he has also written features and campus opinions. Quinn won the Pennsylvania School Press Association (PSPA) Philadelphia-area Student Journalism Competition for Newspaper News Story Writing and will compete for the state title in the Spring of 2020. His article "Teachers prepare for Virtue Villagers" earned a Silver Key from the Philadelphia-area Scholastic Writing competition. Outside of The Index, Quinn is a member of the Diversity Alliance, the Pan-Asian Alliance, debate and speech, and Model UN. His favorite classes are English, Spanish, and Chinese.