Protesters Court Faculty
About 125 students gathered outside University Hall during a Faculty of Arts and Sciences (FAS) meeting yesterday afternoon to push for more hiring or minority and women faculty and for divestment from companies with holdings in South Africa.
The students chanted slogans and handed literature to faculty members entering the building for their 4 p.m. meeting. The protesters formed a ring around the hall but made no attempt to block any entrances.
"They had to look at us before they went in and that's all we wanted," said Jeanne F. Theoharis '91, of the Southern Africa Solidarity Coalition.
The protesters also made them-selves heard. They chanted for the first half hour of the Faculty meeting, prompting FAS Secretary John R. Marquand to close the windows in the meeting room.
The protesters said they wanted the Faculty toimplement all the recomendations of the Verbareport. The report, released by a committeechaired by Pforzheimer University Professor SidneyVerba '53 in March, calls for a new assistant deanfor affirmative action and for each department toappoint a professor to oversee its recruitment ofminorities and women.
"We want them to put the Verba report on theiragenda and approve it this year," said AnnabellaC. Pitkin '90, of the Women's Alliance. "The Verbareport needs to be accepted the way it is."
The students also pressured the faculty to takea stand on divestment from companies doingbusiness in South Africa.
"We want a statement from the faculty askingthe Corporation to divest its holdings in SouthAfrica," Pitkin said. "We believe the Corporationto be in a completely isolated, immoral position,and we want to make that clear."
The two themes were united by signs carried bythe protesters reading "Diversity. Divest." and"Racism at home. Racism abroad." and "Dress forsuccess. Wear a white penis."
Students said they were also concerned aboutamendments that might weaken the Verba report.
"If the faculty doesn't approve the Verbareport intact, there will be an appropriatestudent response," said Lucy H. Koh '90, of theMinority Students Alliance.
Dean of Students Archie C. Epps III monitoredthe protest, making sure students didn't attemptto block entry to the building. He expressed somesympathy for the protesters' goals.
"There's a general sense that we need to hiremore minorities and women. The debate will be overwhat is the most effective way to do it. I thinkit's an error to assume that there is an effort togut the Verba report," Epps said