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Apr 02, 2014 04:14 PM EDT

Dartmouth Students Demand More Diversity, Stage Sit In

Dartmouth College
(Photo : Emory U) Dartmouth College officially adopted a new policy that will be tougher on sexual misconduct penalties.

Students at Dartmouth University in New Hampshire staged a sit-in at the school president's office over diversity issues, Inside Higher Ed reported.

About 35 students at the Ivy League school are demanding that the school's President Phil Hanlon endorse the "Freedom Budget," a proposal that pressures the University to increase the enrollment of students of color, and to hire a more diverse faculty, according to an NPR-affiliated news site.

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The group, who drafted the "Freedom Budget," said the administration is responding to their demands in an "inadequate and oppressive way."

"The burden should not lie with systematically oppressed students (affected by racism, classism, imperialism, nativism, sexism, heterosexism, cis-sexism, and ableism) to ensure our own well-being, safety, and continued existence at Dartmouth College: yet our lived experiences at Dartmouth have been so violent that we were driven to write a plan for such assurance -- The Freedom Budget," students who created The Freedom Budget said in a press release. 

The document, which outlines more than 70 specific proposals, asks University officials to increase enrollment of black, Latino and Native American students by 10 percent each, enhance many of the schools ethnic studies programs, and to require departments "that do not have womyn or people of color ... [to]take urgent and immediate action to right the injustice."

Student's said they delivered the document to the school's administration on Feb. 24 demanding "that President Hanlon, affiliated offices, and those addressed in this letter reply to us via The Dartmouth newspaper by March 24, 2014." The school's administration responded on March 6 to the "Freedom Budget" in Dartmouth Now, the school's newspaper, which students believed was "inadequate in scope."

Students said the response did not address the vast majority of points in The Freedom Budget, and was released the day before finals, "upon which The Dartmouth stopped printing, such that student response was virtually impossible."

"Our sit-in is our response; our physical, vigorous, and positive action," students said. "The least the College must do is seriously address the points that our communities found most essential to our health and indeed our survival.

The University released a statement Tuesday night saying students who remain in the president's office "understand, based on discussions with campus safety and security that they are in violation of college policy."

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