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OU Evans Hall sit-in: University administrators meet some student demands after day of sit-in, BERT responds

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Members of the OU BERT leadership speak at the Evans Hall sit-in on Feb. 26.

OU administrators have agreed to establish mandatory equity training for faculty and staff, an equity and inclusion course for students and expanded counseling resources as a result of the day-long sit-in at Evans Hall. 

The statement from administrators, which was handed out to the press by Director of Media Relations Kesha Keith, said these changes were already included in the university’s strategic plan. The plan will be presented to the Board of Regents in draft form on March 10–11, according to the statement. 

Administrators plan to have the mandatory faculty and staff training implemented by fall 2020, according to the statement. 

According to the statement, the equity and inclusion course will be designed to “promote respect for all students.” Administrators plan to pilot the course in fall 2020 and include it in the general education curriculum for fall 2021. 

University leaders also plan to expand mental health resources on campus “to help meet the demonstrated increase in student needs” by fall 2020. 

After the administrators’ statement was released, Black Emergency Response Team co-director Jamelia Reed quoted Kesha Keith's statement “the ball is in (BERT’s) court,” and Reed said the sit-in will continue until all student demands are met.

Reed also clarified that only the six BERT executive directors are on hunger strike, not all protesters. 

Other demands from students are the creation of a multicultural center on campus and Provost Kyle Harper’s resignation.

Ari Fife is the OU Daily news managing editor and a senior journalism major minoring in international studies and political science. Previously, she served as the summer editor-in-chief, assistant news managing editor and a senior news reporter.

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