Wellesley Blacks Threaten Strike, Win Concessions
Black students at Wellesley won fundamental reforms yesterday aimed at correcting current racial imbalances in the college.
Members of Ethos, a black student group, threatened a hunger strike if the demands contained in an open letter sent at 9 a.m. yesterday to Miss Ruth Adams, president of the college, were not met "unequivocally" within twentyfour hours.
Miss Adams told Ethos that the Administration had agreed to the following demands:
* Recruit 20 more black students for the coming academic year [Only seven blacks have been admitted and Wellesley currently has 25 black students out of a total enrollment of 1700. There are no black professors.];
* Hire three black students to act as recruiters this summer;
* Employ a black admissions officer [One senior has already applied for the post.];
* Attempt to install a black couple as Residents in one of the dormitories;
* Work with local high school enrichment programs like Upward Bound to encourage more black interest in Wellesley and to raise prospective black students' chances of admission.
Miss Adams' announcement came at 3:30 p.m. yesterday, six hours after the demands were made. She will make a formal announcement of the reforms today at 9 a.m.
The demands followed an academic strike by 200 students on April 26. The strike, sponsored by Ethos and Wellesley Against Racism (WAR), called for almost identical reforms. Miss Kristine Olson, a junior and coordinator of WAR, said the administration evaded the demands at that time, offering moral support but stating that the requests would be too difficult to implement.
Miss Adams told Ethos members that the Board of Trustees Monday appropriated $15,000 to start a Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Fund to pay guest lecturers to speak on black problems and culture.
The president also said that she would meet with the Faculty today to discuss means of insuring that Wellesley courses place sufficient emphasis on black peoples' contributions to society.