Brown University students overwhelmingly vote in favor of reparations
Ben Zeisloft, Campus Reform
- Roughly 85% percent of students at Brown University voted to implement reparations.
- The school’s Council of Students, which recommended a positive vote on the referendum, said that the reparations may take the form of “direct commitment of funds” to affected individuals.
Students at Brown University voted overwhelmingly in favor of reparations.
Brown University’s Undergraduate Council of Students announced on March 16 that the school’s elections would feature “Descendants of Slavery Referenda.”
“As this effort has been endorsed by the Council, we can share that we encourage you to vote ‘YES’ to help ensure Brown takes ownership for its actions and privileges from the slave trade,” read the Council’s post on Instagram.
The post clarified that reparations for individuals affected by Brown’s associations with the slave trade may take the form of preferential admission consideration and “direct commitment of funds.” For identified communities, Brown may increase scholarship and recruitment efforts from high schools and participate in “targeted investment.”
One referendum question — “I am in favor of the University making all possible efforts to identify the descendants of enslaved Africans who were entangled with and/or afflicted by the University and Brown family and their associates” — earned 88.61 percent of students’ approval.
The other — “I am in favor of the University providing reparations to identified descendants of slaves entangled with and/or afflicted by the University and Brown family in line with reparations plans from other institutions of higher education like Georgetown University” — gained 84.53 percent approval.
Brown University spokesman Brian Clark told Campus Reform that “confronting questions of reparations and institutional reckoning with connections to the transatlantic slave trade has a deep history at Brown.”
“The University interrogated this issue as a full community from 2003 to 2006, and Brown committed to a series of actions whose impact persists in our education, research, engagement with historically underrepresented groups and ongoing work in diversity, equity and inclusion,” he explained. “The current work of Brown’s Task Force on Anti-Black Racism will make recommendations on more Brown can do to address the legacy of slavery.”
As mentioned by the second referendum question, Georgetown University’s student government was among the first in the nation to implement reparations for descendants of slaves associated with the university.
More recently, students at Macalester College set aside $4,500 for up to 150 care packages to help Black students deal with “trauma” following George Floyd’s death.
As Campus Reform has also reported, President Biden has surrounded himself with former academics who are friendly to the idea of race-based reparations.
Campus Reform reached out to Brown University and the Undergraduate Council of Students for comment. This article will be updated accordingly.
Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @BenZeisloft