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University of Kentucky Responds to Demands of Student Protesters

University of Kentucky leadership conceded to the demands of students who were protesting in the school’s Main Building to force the university to address the concerns of black and low-income students.

The protest ended on Tuesday after university president Eli Capilouto agreed to meet with the protesting students and discuss the eight demands they believed would ease racial tension and financial hardships faced by UK students.

After meeting with representatives from the school’s Black Student Advisory Council and its Basic Needs Campaign, Capilouto announced a slew of measures, including taking down a controversial mural in Memorial Hall. The mural has been at the center of racial tensions on campus over its representation of people of color.

“UK will immediately cover the mural and re-engage with a new committee to determine a long-term plan,” the president wrote in a letter to the campus community.

A permanent seat will also be created for black students on search committees for administrative officials, and the role of Diversity and Inclusion Officers will be standardized.

In order to ease financial hardships faced by students on campus, the university will revise its William C. Parker Scholarship and increase staffing for the Basic Needs Center to coordinate and plan UK’s approach to basic needs such as food and housing insecurity.

“We need to make better progress at a faster pace,” Capilouto said. “We have certain things we are proud of that we can point to, and we have certain things that require more work.”

A recent study has found that support for Black students in public colleges is diminishing. Conducted by the University of South California’s Race and Equity Center, the report found less support for 900,000 black students enrolled in public universities and colleges.

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