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Irate8 Demands Action at UC

Response to the group varies widely

By Scott Multner, Activist Staff
On November 11, 2015

The Irate8 is a local group that has been gaining attention in the media and amongst Cincinnati natives in the past few months. This activist group describes itself as representative of the entire African American students populous attending the University of Cincinnati. However, one student who we talked to told The Activist that the Irate8 was not a representation of him. He noted that his opinions differ, and he would approach the list of demands differently. This group started gaining traction with publicity when it hosted “Sam DuBose Week” at main campus in Clifton. At this event people could ask questions and have them answered by actual members of the Cincinnati Police. But recently the Irate8 has been in the media for a different reason; they have addressed the issue of racism in accordance with policy and curriculum.

The Irate8's home page

Recently the Irate8 released a twenty-one page list of demands with ten specific points that included changes in curriculum, changes in policy, and changes to the “mechanics” of our University. 

This list has garnered attention, including an official UC response. Some are excited about the list while others see the list of demands  as containing points that seem to be far beyond the reach of UC student activism. The Irate8 begins by giving mention to specific officers who compromise the safety and integrity of our campus. Some have criticized this way of bringing about social justice and change, while others are impressed with its potential effectiveness. 

Next is the demand regarding changing of curriculum; demanding that the university changes the enforcing of its curriculum to include a “fully funded comprehensive racial awareness curriculum that is mandatory for all students.”  It's hard to decide based on the specificity and the bold ambition of the demands whether or not criticisms of this activist group hold water. But it is easy to see that the Irate 8 truly feels as though they have a measurable say in what happens on our campus. This article can’t address the entire list put forth by the irate 8 but these two points give a moderately clear representation of the importance of the demands on the rest of list.

The Irate 8 has received a wide variety of responses over social media. It has received responses over the most popular social media sites like  Twitter and Yik-Yak.  In general, the anonymous responses (such as those on Yik-Yak) were extremely harsh and much less positive. The responses viewed on Twitter had a much less assaulting tone. A few criticisms that were vocalized about the Irate 8 were that they “live in a fantasy world” as well as that they are out of touch with the real world. On October 28, the Irate 8 received a formal reply from UC President Santa Ono and Dr. Bleuzette Marshall of the UC Chief Diversity Office. The Irate8 was not satisified with this response to their demands and posted the letter along with their own response on their web site . In their letter, they write, "This extensive and thorough 21-page document of research based demands was met with vague university talking points which failed to even acknowledge the specificity of each demand." They go on to write, "Although we understand that reform will take time and diligent planning, we remain critical of the lack of concrete timetables, transparent planning, and sense of immediacy in the University's response."

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