Students from the University of Kentucky who embarked on a hunger strike last week are celebrating after their demands were met by the school’s administration. Over 350 students joined the campaign, and at least six had refused any food starting last Wednesday, as they demanded the creation of a Basic Needs Center to support students who are food insecure and otherwise struggling financially. As of Tuesday night, University of Kentucky administrators agreed to create the center and establish a Basic Needs Fund.
In a parallel action, students from the Black Student Advisory Council, who launched a campaign to increase diversity and better support black students at the university, also had the majority of their demands met. Among other things, they have been demanding the removal of a racist mural from campus which depicts African slaves and Native Americans attacking white women. This is a University of Kentucky student speaking in front of the mural.
Chandler Frierson: “As you can see with the people on the painting, that they’re working. And I felt like that that was me. I saw myself in the painting. And it was just a harsh reminder of this university.”
Yesterday, the University of Kentucky agreed, as a temporary measure, to cover up the mural and create a committee to figure out a long-term solution. Students from both the Basic Needs Campaign and the Black Student Advisory Council had been occupying a campus building since the start of this week.