Alumni Ask SUNY New Paltz President to Step Down, Citing Unresolved Campus Racism

A growing group of State University of New York (SUNY) New Paltz alumni are asking the school’s president, Dr. Donald Christian, to step down citing “unresolved racist incidents that have left students feeling that insults, threats and ongoing tension are not taken seriously,” reports the Daily Freeman.

On July 31, members of SUNY New Paltz Alumni for Black Lives Matter approached DownloadSUNY state Associate Provost for Student Affairs and University Life Dr. John Graham with five demands: have college programs available through public funding and student loans be forgiven; don’t allow campus police to carry firearms and reduce the department’s funding by 75%; require first-year students to take a Black studies course; fill all SUNY boards and higher administrative positions through direct elections by the public; and update the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion policy at all SUNY schools.

According to The Daily Freeman, however, the group was displeased with the school’s response to their demands and is now asking Christian to step down from his role as president.

SUNY New Paltz officials “declined to address the specific demands or comments suggesting that Christian should step down.” Instead, college representatives pointed to a virtual event on Tuesday intended to address racism.

“This virtual event offers New Paltz alumni an opportunity to share their thoughts, experiences and concerns with campus leaders,” college officials wrote, according to the Daily Freeman. “These campus leaders will answer questions, but their primary goals are to listen and to learn.”