Tufts Agrees To Demands Put By Afro
Seizure of Building Prompts Negotiations
The Tufts administration agreed to demands by the Afro-American Society last night in the wake of a student takeover of the university's computer center.
Three hundred students occupied the building early yesterday afternoon in support of Afro's call for increased minority-group employment on a new dormitory construction site.
Meanwhile, 25 police remained on campus yesterday, guarding the construction site against any further Afro attempts to halt work on the project. The police will be withdrawn today, according to Paul Rich, director of the Office of Public Relations.
The protesters voluntarily left the computer center last night following President Burton C. Hallowell's written pledge to increase the number of black and Puerto Rican workers according to guidelines set by Afro.
Afro leaders have called for a moratorium on further protests as their part of the negotiated agreement with the administration.
Both the administration and Afro have charged the Volpe Construction Company with racial discrimination in, its hiring practices. Tufts has filed suit against the firm, and a hearing has been set for December 22.
According to a statement issued by the Tufts administration, "the Federal law is vague in stating what non-compliance actually is, saying only that there must be an affirmative effort to maintain equal employment opportunities in Federally funded projects."
The Volpe Construction Company is owned by the family of U.S. Transportation Secretary John A. Volpe.
The proposals outlined by Afro and agreed to by the administration include:
hiring two additional minority-group workers today,
bringing the total percentage of black and Puerto Rican workers up to 20 per cent within a week;
recruiting the additional workers from two local black unions (United Community Construction Workers and the Workers Defense League);
hiring a black recommended by Afro to serve as clerk of the site;
and hiring a student to monitor the treatment of black workers.
Earlier in the day. 150 Tufts students picketed outside the Volpe Construction Company building in Malden. The protesters were met by 30 armed police and prevented from entering the building where they had planned to stage a sit-in.