Miami U students protest lack of diversity

OXFORD, OH (FOX19) - A student group calling itself the Black Action Movement (BAM 2.0) said it is holding Miami University administrators accountable for racially insensitive remarks made on campus and problems with diversity the group said have not been fixed.

BAM 2.0 is a modern version of BAM that formed in 1998 when social media was in it's infancy. Like its predecessor, on Tuesday, members of BAM 2.0 presented the president of the university with a list of demands.

"We do acknowledge all of their efforts and everything but, honestly, we're moving a little too slow in things," BAM team activist Jaylen Perkins said. "(The list) is just to give some concrete things that we want to see and get some of those things in motion to get towards diversity and inclusion at Miami University."

The list of demands from the groups includes a call from the university to construct a new building to serve as the Office of Diversity Affairs, a considerable uptick in the number of racially diverse students, faculty and staff populations, and a demand for the university to revise the "Discrimination and Harassment" section of the Code of Conduct, among others.

BAM 2.0 was formed out of four days of protesting that began Monday of last week and centered around a student using the N-word in a social media chat forum.

The university took no disciplinary action against the student and had no right to, according to Dr. Rodney Coates, professor of Global and Intercultural Studies at MU.

Coates said as long as no one was threatened with physical harm the U.S. Supreme Court has upheld that the First Amendment right of free speech applies.

"I cannot slander you, I cannot libel you, I cannot threaten you. Can I insult you? Yes sir, I can," he said.

Coates, who has been associated with Miami University for nearly three decades and who supported BAM 1998, called current Miami University President Gregory Crawford, "one of the most engaged presidents on the issue of diversity and inclusion" that the university has ever had.

A university spokesperson said president Crawford will meet with members of BAM 2.0 in the coming weeks to go through and address their list of ten demands one-by-one.

Copyright 2018 WXIX. All rights reserved.