A group of UW student protestors called “BreakthrUWYO” staged a walkout of a discussion on diversity put on by the school and attended by UW president Dick McGinity Tuesday night.
The move follows similar protests by students against perceived racial injustice at colleges across the country. The University of Wyoming recently announced the creation of a Committee on Diversity, as well as a Diversity Coordinator position. McGinity said it was important to take time to think through any major changes at the school.
“I am a planning nut,” he said during his opening remarks at the meeting. “I am really reluctant about launching off in any particular direction without thinking it through in advance.”
But BreakthrUWYO said the current pace was unacceptable.
“It is not enough to be compassionate,” said BreakthrUWYO organizer Natawsha Mitchell during her rebuttal speech before the walkout. “We must act. The fact that everybody seems to feel that these are issues is not enough anymore. The historic inaction by all bodies is why we, frustrated marginalized students, seek autonomy over this process.”
BreakthrUWYO presented Dick McGinity and the UW administration a list of demands, including that the school mandate a class on cultural diversity for all freshman, and that it give the protesters more input into the ongoing search for UW’s next president.
About 100 people showed up for the event, but more than half walked out.