Harvard University Students Host Sit-In, Demand Ethnic Studies Department

Around 50 Harvard University students hosted a sit-in last week demanding the establishment of an ethnic studies department on campus.

Dr. Rakesh KhuranaDr. Rakesh Khurana

The students occupied Harvard’s Office of Admissions and Financial Aid shortly after the school’s early action admissions decisions were released. The students argued that the university needed to increase its commitment to diversity beyond race-conscious admissions, according to the Crimson.

In October, federal judge Allison D. Burroughs ruled in favor of Harvard in an admissions case, finding that the university’s race-conscious admissions policies did not unlawfully discriminate against students based on race.

This also comes in light of protests surrounding the denial of tenure for Dr. Lorgia García Peña, a romance languages and literatures associate professor.

“Everybody on our campus deserves to be heard,” said Dr. Rakesh Khurana, dean of Harvard College, in a statement. “And I’m trying to understand what is important to them and see what we can do to continually strengthen dialogue and communication with the students.”